Series draw for U16 Boys against Belgium

U16 Boys v Belgium 2018
Game 1 – Sat 7 July 

Belgium 0 (0)

England 4 (2)
Bithell (PC); Mead (PC); Nurse (PC); Croft-Baker (PC)

England travelled to Belgium to play two games this weekend and started with a convincing victory, scoring twice in both the first and fourth quarters. 

England began at a high level of intensity and it took only five minutes to earn their first penalty corner of the game, which was eventually converted by Barney Bithell after AJ Ashaye’s initial flick was saved.

Five minutes later England had won and scored from another penalty corner, with Will Mead smashing the ball into the roof of the net to double his side’s advantage.

There was plenty of action in the second and third quarters but no further goals until Nick Nurse deflected a drag flick from Ashaye past the goalkeeper in the final period, before Harry Croft-Baker smashed in a corner of his own to end the day in style.

Game 2 – Sun 8 July 

Belgium 2 (1)

England 1 (0)
Prentice (FG)

Belgium levelled the series with a narrow victory, bouncing back from the previous day’s result well.

England started the brightest and had the best chance of the first quarter as Will Prentice hit the bar, but it was their opponents who took the lead into half-time as they scrambled home a corner.

That lead extended at the end of the third quarter as, despite an excellent save by Oliver Juszt, the Belgians pounced on a rebound.

A kicking back was employed for the final eight minutes of the game and it almost immediately paid off as Prentice scored a fine solo goal but, despite continued pressure and further opportunities, an equaliser was to prove elusive.

After the second game head coach Mark Bateman said: “We played some great hockey over the course of the weekend, in particular our individual defending against some skilled and quick opponents. 

“It was pleasing to see the team identify and manage different situations on the pitch themselves and to continue development of their tactical understanding of the international game. We can look forward now to our games at the upcoming 6 Nations tournament.”