Silver for U21s men at Junior EuroHockey Championship

Silver for U21s men at Junior EuroHockey Championship
Photo credit - WORLDSPORTPICS / Frank Uijlenbroek

England’s U21s men’s impressive Junior EuroHockey Championship campaign concluded with a silver medal after a 5-3 defeat to Germany, their first defeat in the competition. 

Germany began the game well and took the lead with just under 20 minutes on the clock as Raphael Hartkopf, who bagged a first-half brace, squeezed the ball in at the near post with a fierce strike.

England replied in the final action of the first-half as Stuart Rushmere scooped the ball over the German ‘keeper after he’d initially made a smart save to deny Edward Way’s penalty corner strike from finding the back of the net to make it 2-1 at the interval.

Germany, who cruised past Spain in the semi-finals with a 3-0 victory, continued their blistering form with a third goal within two minutes of the restart as Jan Schiffer pounced on a loose ball in the D and tucked it into the goal.

Though Germany, who scored 14 goals in just three group stage matches, were looking strong, England were creating chances of their own and continued to look for a way back into the match at 3-1.

But the German outfit showed their class as Hartkopf completed his hattrick before the team got another from a penalty corner in the final few minutes after England had withdrawn their ‘keeper for another outfield player.

Despite being in a tough position, England continued to push forwards and were rewarded with two goals inside the final two minutes. The first goal a superb strike from James Oates at the edge of the D, the second an unstoppable drag flick from Duncan Scott as England’s hard work was converted onto the scoreboard.

With the final whistle concluding the match at 5-3 in Germany’s favour, England took home the silver medal after a very encouraging campaign that saw great development from the team and guaranteed a place at the 2021 Junior World Cup.