Victory over Ireland seals semi-final spot

IRL v ENG EuroHockey graphic U18 Girls

England U18 Girls 4 (2)
Ireland U18 Girls 0 (0)

England Under-18 girls booked their place in the semi finals of the EuroHockey Youth Championships with a confident 4-0 win over Ireland in Santander, Spain, on Wednesday afternoon.

Two goals from Rachel Greenwood and others from Molly Redgrove and Sophie Hamilton were enough for England to secure second spot in the group and ensure they will take on the winners of Pool A, the Netherlands, on Friday afternoon.

“It was a good solid performance and very pleasing. We steadied into the game and played some dominant and fluid hockey,” said head coach Sarah Kelleher.

Redgrove got England off the mark in the sixth minute from a penalty corner, and in the second quarter Hamilton doubled their lead from open play on the stroke of half time.

And the third quarter saw England capitalise on a green card to Ireland on 34 minutes, with Greenwood scoring from a penalty corner on 36 minutes and again three minutes later to put England firmly in control.

“Keeping a clean sheet was good,” added Kelleher. “Ireland went to a kicking back for the final five minutes but we’ve practiced playing against a kicking back so it’s a scenario we’ve prepared for and the girls are in tune with what to do.

“When that happens the opportunity for us to score another goal is always in mind, but we have to keep secure at the back. We did win a penalty corner while they had a kicking back, but couldn’t score.

“We’re in a familiar place now, facing the Dutch. We’ve got a real sense of belief for playing them. I think we can give them a real run for their money and everyone is very motivated.”