Positive results for U18s NAGS against Belgium

Positive results for U18s NAGS against Belgium
Canterbury Hockey Club played host to the U18s Boys & Girls NAGS test series against Belgium over the weekend which saw both teams put in good performances and earn positive results. Read how the teams fared:

U18 Girls
Game 1 
England 2 - 1 Belgium (2 - 1 HT)
Summers 11' FG
Bourne 27' PS
Belgium 24' FG

Coming off the back of a challenging weekend in Germany, England hosted Belgium in a two match test series. England dominated the early phases of the first game and were rewarded when a fast and dynamic run from Katie Curtis along the baseline ended with a slipped ball to Lottie Summers, who converted the opportunity.

In the second quarter, England continued to press, but a counter attack from Belgium down their right caught the England defenders stretched, with a well-timed finish bringing the game level.

There was a rapid response from England as Sian Emslie won a penalty stroke, which Darcy Bourne put into the top of the net to restore the lead, an advantage the side would be able to hold onto for the remainder of the match to secure an opening game victory.

Game 2 
England 2 - 0 Belgium (1 - 0 HT)
Plumb 24' FG
Klugman 56' FG

After Saturday's game, Belgium came out and applied pressure right from the start in the second match. After soaking up some pressure, England stepped up their game and were rewarded with an excellent team goal. Liv Hamilton broke through Belgium’s front line and, following some good link up play, found Darcy Bourne who lifted the ball over the goalkeeper to Aimee Plumb who calmly slotted it into the net.

Belgium applied more pressure and earned a couple of penalty corners which were well dealt with by the England defence. Late in the game Sally Sime cracked a through ball to Alice Klugman who picked it up, moved it on and collected the return to score the second goal with a well worked move.

Head Coach's comments: “Following last weekend’s test against Germany, the results against Belgium were pleasing, with continued improvement in performance evident that will stand to us going into the 6 Nations. For large parts of the games, we dominated play. The key to success will be to start turning this pressure into outcomes."

U18 Boys
Game 1
England 1 – 4 Belgium (HT 0-1)
Robson 39’ PS
Belgium 8’ FG, 47’ PC, 54’ FG

Belgium scored very early on with some flowing stick to stick hockey breaking down England's zone defence. England worked hard to try and get back into the game with the side earning a penalty stroke just after half-time which Ellis Robson calmly scored to restore parity. As the second-half went on it was clear that Belgium had worked out the English defence and they scored three more to win this first game. 

Game 2
England 2 – 2 Belgium (HT 1-1)
Telytche 14’ FG
Stanley 59’ FG
Belgium 29’ FG, 36’ PC

As the first quarter of the second match ended, Xavier Telytche got on the end of a ball across the face of goal to open the scoring for England with an early strike. As the half was nearing an end, a slight lapse from England saw a turnover ball quickly taken into the England circle for Belgium to score just before the break. 

Both teams came out strong after the interval with Belgium scoring a penalty corner low down inside the right post. The final quarter was physical and fast and the game went all the way to the last minute before England were awarded a penalty corner as time ran out.  A poor trap at the top of the circle led to some improvisation but England kept their heads and worked the ball back in front of goal for Toby Stanley to send the teams home with a draw thanks to a very late equaliser.

Game 3
England 3 – 2 Belgium (HT 1-2)
Robson 27’ FG
Pendle 58’ FG, 59’ FG
Belgium 6’ PC, 28’ PC

Belgium proved to be very effective from the top of the circle, scoring another penalty corner early in the first quarter. England manged to get Ellis Robson free in the circle to equalise a few minutes before the end of the half only to give Belgium another penalty corner which, once again, they dispatched to take a lead going into half-time.

The second half-seemed to be relentless with turnovers and breakaways from both teams, with it looking as though Belgium would hang on for the win. However, Alex Pendle had other ideas and scored twice in the last two minutes to secure the victory for England with an action-packed conclusion to the game.

Head Coach’s comment: “It was important that we had a good weekend after a tough test against Germany last week. We had a plan to work on this weekend and over the three days it was clear that things were improving. We were able to achieve not only good results but put ourselves in a good mindset prior to departing to the 6 Nations later in the week.”