Lots learned from Germany test for NAGS boys

Lots learned from Germany test for NAGS boys
England’s U16 and U18 NAGS boys faced their German counterparts over the weekend in a two game test series held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

U16 Boys:

Game 1
England 4 - 4 Germany (1 - 0 HT)
Whitmore 7’ PC
Collinson 43’ FG
Wootton 59’ PC
Penrose 60’ PC
Germany 37’ FG, 45’ FG, 49’ FG, 56’ FG

In the first match, England took the lead mid-way through the first quarter as Will Whitmore flicked England ahead in what was a fast-paced opening half.

Germany found an equaliser as England were unable to clear their lines. Ben Collinson then restored England’s advantage with a fine solo goal, finishing calmly over the German goalkeeper from a tight angle on the baseline, though Germany restored parity just a couple of minutes later. 

In the final quarter, with the game becoming increasingly stretched, Germany scored two open play goals despite some fine initial saves from Matthew Whiteside to take a 4-2 advantage. 

With less than five minutes to play, England took off their goalkeeper for an extra field player and fought back. It was to pay dividends as both Fergus Wootton and Rory Penrose found the back of the net from penalty corners to ensure the game would finish a draw with the final goal coming with just 17 seconds left on the clock to seal a dramatic conclusion to the opening match.


Game 2
England 3 - 5 Germany (1 - 1 HT)
Shelton 27’ PC
Buckeridge 39’ PC
Wilcher 56’ PC
Germany 29’ FG, 32’ FG, 36’ FG, 53’ FG, 60’ FG (EG)

The second match of the Test Series was another eight-goal thriller between the two teams, this time with Germany coming out on top in a similarly close game. 

Again, England were first on the scoresheet as Ollie Shelton profited from a penalty corner but Germany quickly responded with three goals inside ten minutes as they converted their pressure into goals. 

Rory Buckeridge closed the scores at 3-2 just minutes after the Germans got their third, however, Germany refused to let their lead slip as they found another in the final quarter.

Once again England elected to withdraw their goalkeeper for another outfield player, which paid quick dividends as Lewis Wilcher converted from a penalty corner. 

England continued to press to find the late equalising goal for a second day in a row but finally fell victim to the risk with Germany creating a turnover in the England half to score into an empty net to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Thoughts from Mark Bateman, England U16 Boys Head Coach: “The games against Germany allowed us to experience playing with a lead, playing from behind and managing a game against a high standard opponent. 

“At times we performed really well in all of these scenarios which was really encouraging and there were also situations where we can still make big improvements in our decisions both individually and as a team. The performances give us a strong base for our next games against Belgium next week.”


U18 Boys:

Game 1
England 2 - 4 Germany (HT 0-1)
Alex Pendle 19' FG
Conor Williamson 48' PC
Germany 13' FG, 34' PC, 36' PC, 37' FG

England worked hard to stay in the game after Germany had taken an early lead and managed to string together a good series of passes which released Alex Pendle into the circle where he drove the ball hard and low past the German goalkeeper to level the scores. 

Germany came out hard and fast in the second-half, scoring three quick goals without answer through some aggressive pressing and a couple of steals high up the pitch. As the final quarter got underway England managed to regroup and eventually managed to earn a penalty corner which was well finished by Conor Williamson.    

Game 2
England 1 - 6 Germany (HT 1-1)
Alex Pendle 18' FG
Germany 6' FG, 34' PC, 37' FG, 47' PS, 49' FG, 54' FG

In game two of the test series, both sides were determined to work hard for the victory and this showed in the level of work put in by the teams. At half-time honours were even after Alex Pendle scored his second of the weekend to peg back an early German lead. 

Unfortunately, in the second-half Germany proved too strong and although England tried various things to get back in the game, the German's clinical finishing saw them cruise to victory. 

Thoughts from the Head Coach: “This weekend was always going to be tough and although we were successful in many areas there is still some technical aspects for us to improve on. The early part of our game is all that we expect but unfortunately we need to work on our strategies for when we fall behind. We will assess and regroup and keep moving forward as we develop.”