Eurohockey 2013: A look back at England's silver lining

England take a silver medal the 2013 EuroHockey Championships


With the countdown to Eurohockey 2015 in London well under way we thought we’d take some time to look back at the last Women's Eurohockey Championships, in Boom, Belgium.

England travelled to Boom to take on the top sides in Europe and found themselves in a pool with Germany, Spain and old foes Scotland, whilst the other pool was made up of Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland and Belarus.

England got off to a terrific start, with Hannah Macleod firing them ahead against Spain after four minutes. Kate Richardson-Walsh and Lily Owsley added further strikes, the latter with just her second international goal, to secure a 3-0 win.

Afterwards, Captain Richardson-Walsh said: “We’re as happy as we could be and scoring two early goals helped settle the nerves. We have a lot more to give so it was a good start. We’ve been working hard on our penalty corners and hopefully that will continue to pay dividends as it has done today.”

In the second game England suffered a setback, going down 2-1 to Germany, thanks to a Marie Maevers double strike, which overcame Giselle Ansley’s goal for Jason Lee’s side.
With a semi-final place up for grabs, England went up against the old enemy, Scotland in the final pool match. As expected, the game had a local derby feel about it and despite the difference in world rankings; Scotland could easily have come away with something from the game. A goal from Hannah Macleod was cancelled out by Nikki Kidd but Sam Quek popped up with the winner to set up a semi-final against red-hot favourites, the Netherlands.

The semi-final was a night to remember for England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch. Having played superbly during the 70 minutes, keeping out a number of Maartje Paumen penalty corners, the Holcombe goalkeeper came to the fore during the drama and tension of the penalty shootout.


 

Hinch saved from Eva de Goede, Maartje Paumen, Ellen Hoog, again from De Goede and then from Roos Drost to send England into the final for the first time since 1991. Coach Jason Lee raved about his goalkeeper in the aftermath, saying:

“Maddie’s super cool! I think she looked completely in control tonight. We all watched her walk from the half-way line and we just knew that she had that belief, and I know we all had that confidence in her. She was player of tournament at the Investec World League Semi Final and I think she’s just continued to grow from there.”

England women celebrate their place in the 2013 EuroHockey Championship Final after beating the Dutch in a penalty shoot out 450x300

That set up a final with Germany who England had met in the pool stage. The game certainly did not disappoint as the two sides traded blows like two prize-fighters standing toe-to-toe. The sides shared seven goals in an exhilarating first half with Germany heading into the break 4-3 ahead. Susie Gilbert rescued a draw with a goal four minutes from time sending the game to a shootout. Despite more heroics from Hinch in goal, there were also heroics from Kim Platten in the German goal, saving from Richardson-Walsh, Danson, Unsworth and Twigg to secure a 2-0 win for Germany and the Eurohockey title.

England Captain Kate Walsh gave her thoughts afterwards: “Congratulations to the German team, we knew it was going to be a close game, after it being so tight in the pool, and over the last few years we’ve had a lot of close encounters. There are not normally that many goals in finals, but it was an open game with both teams really going for it so I hope it made it very entertaining for the everyone to watch. We stuck at it and got the draw and I think we felt confident going into the shootout, but it just didn’t go our way today.”

Despite the disappointment of the defeat, England took great pride in the medals they collected with Hinch also being named as goalkeeper of the tournament.

Eurohockey 2015, at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London will give us more of the same drama with England and Germany pitted together in the pool stages in what promises to be an enthralling repeat of the 2013 final.

You can witness the crème de la crème of European hockey as they battle it out to be crowned Eurohockey 2015 Champions next summer. All the information is here.