England finish eighth after Netherlands defeat

Liam Sanford in defensive action at the HJWC2016

England 2 (0)
Tom Sorsby 55 (FG)
Will Calnan 66 (PS)

Netherlands 6 (1)
Thijs Van Dam 22 (PC)
Thierry Brinkman 41, 68 (FG,FG)
Bram van Groesen 56, 69 (PC, PS)
Noud Schoenaker 65 (FG)

England were forced to settle for eighth place in the Junior Hockey World Cup after a 6-2 defeat against the Netherlands. Despite goals from Tom Sorsby and Will Calnan, England were put to the sword by Eric Verboom’s Dutch side. England trailed in the latter stages and took off goalkeeper Chris Wyver in an attempt to salvage the game, a move that backfired as the Netherlands netted three times in the final five minutes to put a slightly flattering gloss on the score.

England made a bright start with Ed Horler winning the ball from the first pass and threatening the Dutch defence. Peter Scott almost set up James Gall but the latter could not connect with the cross. Jack Waller set up Horler but his deflection flashed wide as England moved the ball quickly and precisely to cause the Dutch defence plenty of problems in the early going.

The Netherlands were relying on their individual flair and Jorrit Croon showed his skills in a number of raids on the England back line. He was kept in check by some brilliant defending from James Albery and Liam Sanford.   

Despite creating the better of the chances England were behind on 22 minutes. A penalty corner was charged down by Sanford but Thijs Van Dam latched onto the loose ball to slot home, giving his side the lead at the interval.

Six minutes after the break the Dutch doubled their advantage. Van Dam again caused problems and his backhand cross-shot was touched in by Captain Thierry Brinkman.

England tried to hit back but Horler’s penalty corner was well saved by the goalkeeper before Peter Scott blazed the rebound over the bar. With 15 minutes left to play England got on the board. Chris Proctor’s pass was diverted by Jack Clee into the path of Sorsby who made no mistake.

The Netherlands immediately re-established their two goal cushion with a Bram Van Groesen penalty corner a minute later.

Trailing 3-1 with eight minutes to go England took off goalkeeper Wyver in an attempt to get back into the match. Always a gamble, their initial pressure almost brought them a goal but instead, Netherlands broke forwards and Noud Schoenaker made it 4-1 despite a brave effort from kicking-back Sanford.

Calnan slotted in a penalty stroke a minute later to reduce the arrears but any thoughts of a comeback were quickly extinguished as Brinkman fired in a fifth just two minutes later. Wyver came back on to face a last minute penalty stroke but despite going the right way he could not keep out Van Groesen’s flick and it finished 6-2.

England end up finishing eighth in the Junior World Cup, whilst Netherlands took the seventh place honours.

All the tournament detail can be found on the FIH Website.