Series victories for NAGS against Ulster

England U16 Girls' NAGS v Ulster 2018
England’s U16 Boys’ and Girls’ took on Ulster U17s across the bank holiday weekend, with each team playing three games against their Irish counterparts.

Having suffered a slow start, the boys secured a 2-1 series victory thanks to dominant displays in their final two games.

Sat 5 May – England U16 Boys’ 1-5 Ulster U17 Boys’ (Goal: Weaver)
In the first fixture an energetic Ulster side played a high tempo style and were clinical in taking their chances, running out 5-1 winners. Alfie Weaver scored the consolation goal for England, with a fierce flick low into the bottom right of the goal mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Sun 6 May – England U16 Boys’ 4-2 Ulster U17 Boys’ (Goals: Robson [2], Ashaye, Weaver) 
In Sunday's game, England produced a much improved performance to earn an impressive victory. England started the game with more composure and Ellis Robson opened the scoring with a penalty stroke before AJ Ashaye’s penalty corner goal doubled the lead.

Ulster pulled a goal back just before the break leaving England ahead 2-1 but Robson added his second in the third quarter and, although Ulster replied immediately, the win was secured when Weaver scoring his second goal of the weekend with eight minutes remaining.

Mon 7 May – England U16 Boys’ 5-1 Ulster U17 Boys’ (Goals: Robson [2], Moorhouse, Phillips, Payton)
A dominant performance in the final game saw England take the series victory. Two goals in the first quarter from Robson and Tom Moorhouse got England off to the perfect start before a further goal from Robson gave England a 3-0 lead at half-time. 

That lead became four shortly after the restart as Jake Phillips found the goal before Jacob Payton added another in the fourth quarter, with Ulster only able to respond with two minutes left.

After the final game, Head Coach Mark Bateman said: “The response of the players to Saturday’s below par performance was very encouraging. The players took responsibility and showed the ability to learn from the experience and then play two games which were much more reflective of how we want to play.”

The girls also took a series victory, although their path was slightly more straightforward as they won every single game.

Sat 5 May – England U16 Girls’ 2-1 Ulster U16 Girls’ (Goals: Jowett, Cantrell)
Despite this being the first England game for many of the players, they showed impressive maturity to weather plenty of Ulster attacks and take the victory.

Chrissie Jowett opened the scoring in the 17th minute before Georgie Cantrell doubled the scoring ten minutes later and they controlled the game from thereon, although Ulster did give themselves a brief glimpse of hope with a late goal but it was to no avail.

Sun 6 May – England U16 Girls’ 4-0 Ulster U17 Girls’ (Goals: Brown, Alexander [2], Polley)
England were ruthless in the hot conditions as they proved effective both on the counter attack and at penalty corners to take victory in the second game.

Georgia Brown opened the scoring after just two minutes before a double from Beth Alexander and a corner goal from Caitlin Polley gave England an unassailable lead after just 38 minutes. Ulster offered plenty of threat themselves from corners but could not breach the girls’ defences.

Mon 7 May – England U16 Girls’ 4-1 Ulster U17 Girls’ (Goals: Alexander, Tillings, Harris, Gilgrass)
It was another clinical finishing masterclass from England in the final game as they notched up four goals for the second consecutive game.

They took a 2-0 lead into half-time thanks to Alexander and Tilly Tillings before Ulster pulled a goal back in the 37th minute. However further goals from Emily Harris and Imogen Gilgrass secured a third straight victory to cap a good weekend for the side off in the best possible fashion.