Experience gained for NAGS girls from Germany trip

Experience gained for NAGS girls from Germany trip
England’s U16s & U18s NAGS teams visited Germany over the weekend for a three game test series, read the reports on how the sides got on:

Girls U16s

Game 1
England 2 - Germany 2
O'Malley-Kumar 10' FG, Morris Adams 43' FG
Germany 60' PC

Though Germany initially took the lead, Grace O‘Malley-Kumar levelled it up with a decisive deflection from a Claudia Swain pass across the D. England then took the lead courtesy of Ericka Morris Adams with a far post deflection.

However, Germany fought back and converted from a penalty corner in the last minute to secure a draw.

Game 2
England 1 - Germany 2
O'Malley-Kumar 48' FG
Germany 41' PC, 54' FG

The first-half was a cagey affair with neither side able to make the breakthrough, both teams making errors which neither were able to capitalise upon.

O‘Malley-Kumar scored her second of the tournament when she calmly knocked the ball past the goalkeeper after a good through ball from Beth Alexander.

Germany replied in kind with some devastating set pieces, scoring twice from penalty corners in the second-half to snatch a victory.

Game 3
England 1 - Germany 1
Claudia Swain 50’ PC
Germany 18’ FG  

England started the game slowly and Germany profited from this in the second quarter as they took the lead.

England then picked up the pace of the game and played some good passing hockey in the final quarter and were rewarded with a deflection goal by Claudia Swain from a penalty corner to secure a draw in the final match.
Head Coach John Bell gave his thoughts on the series: “The first game showed some real development in tactical awareness with the players exhibiting a desire to problem solve on the field during play.

“The girls were technically under par in the final game with a slight naivety in game management. Tough conditions for both teams, but the most pleasing part of the game was application of individual and unit play defence.”  

Girls U18

Game 1
Germany 5 - 1 England (2 - 0 HT)
Lottie Summers 46' FG
Germany 3’ PC, 21' FG, 41' FG, 56' PC, 59' PC

Despite the soaring temperatures, Germany started with a high intensity and were rewarded for their efforts with a penalty corner which they converted to take the lead after less than five minutes of play. Germany maintained their pressure and doubled their lead going into the half time break.

After the interval, England were able to match Germany and honours were shared in the third quarter with both sides scoring. Lottie Summers converted for England after a lovely piece of play from Millie Attwell. The final quarter saw Germany convert two late goals, despite England’s resilient defending, to add to the final score.

Game 2

Germany 6 - 1 England (1- 0 HT)
Maddie Axford 32' FG
Germany 13' PC, 42' PC, 47' FG, 56' FG, 57' FG, 60' FG

With the mercury rising above 40 degrees, the decision was taken to introduce additional water breaks and extend the scheduled breaks. 

England started on the front foot and were disappointed not to be rewarded for their efforts. Against the balance of play, Germany managed to win and covert a penalty corner late in the first-quarter in a low-scoring opening half.

The start of the second-half saw England beginning the half as they started the game, but this time were rewarded with a goal after a fantastic finish by Maddy Axford on the volley. 

Unfortunately, despite England’s good form, Germany won and converted another penalty corner, giving them the one goal advantage going into the final quarter time break. With the hot weather taking its toll on the England team, Germany were able to seal the win with a flurry of late goals. 


Game 3

Germany 6 - 3 England (1- 1 HT)
Flo Fletcher 15' FG, Darcy Bourne 40' PS, Maddie Axford 60' PC
Germany 17' FG, 32' FG, 35' PC, 44' FG, 51' PC, 53' PC

The final match of the series saw England start on the front foot with Flo Fletcher putting the England team in front with a hard run up the pitch and a well-executed backhand.

Germany responded swiftly at the start of the second quarter, scoring early to send the teams into half-time on even ground. 

Starting the third quarter with 11 outfield players, Germany scored two quick goals to take the score line to 3-1. England managed to get a goal back through Darcy Bourne's penalty stroke, but again Germany responded well with another goal to take a 4-2 lead going into the last quarter. 

The goals kept flowing in the final period with Germany scoring another two goals and England converting a penalty corner on the final whistle through Maddie Axford. 

Thoughts from the Head Coach: “The German test series was an excellent development opportunity for players taking their understanding of WITTW (What it takes to win) End in Mind principle to another level.  

“We competed well for large parts of the games, executing our game plan and playing with intensity, and were very much in the game with close score lines at half-time. The challenge now is to maintain this focus and intensity across the full match and better manage critical phases of the game.

“It was pleasing to see the improvement in performance across the three games and our positivity going forward, particularly in the last game, result in outcomes and goals. Lots of great learning to build on going into our series this coming weekend against Belgium and the upcoming 6 Nations in Holland.”