Gold, Gold, Gold for England at the European Cup.

On the final day for the IMHA European Cup in Rotterdam the English teams came away with 3 Golds and 3 Bronze medals.

The Women's 035s, led by Head Coach Gareth Ikin, secured their Gold medal with a thrilling 3-2 victory over a determined German side.  Needing only a draw to be top of their round robin pool they went into the lead with a goal from Sarah Cockayne, Germany equalised and then Nic George restored the advantage but Germany came back again to equalise before Sara Cockayne clinched the Gold with an excellent goal at the far post.

The Women's 040s, marshalled by their Head Coach Sue Sutton, topped their medal pool with maximum six points after a close encounter with Germany.  Suzy Clapp gave them an excellent start with a fierce shot from the top of the circle in the 9th minute.  However, England had to survive a penalty stroke in the second half saved by Amanda Billington to claim their Gold.

The Women's 045s coached by Katie Ridewood and Deb Wilkes played in the 3rd/4th play off, having been beaten on the previous evening after a shoot out with hosts The Netherlands. Paula Nicholas equalised in the 41st minute after an early German goal and despite some close misses this game also went to a shoot.  However this time Anne Fairbrother scored the all important 4th shuffle to earn a Bronze medal.

In the Men's section the 035s led the way with a convincing 3 - 1 final win against Germany.  Daffyd Bowles opened the scoring in the 32nd minute and Alex Kotlarzewski scored a second shortly after to double the lead. Although Germany pulled one back in the 48th minute, Ben Alberry secured the victory, and a Gold medal for coach Mark Moss, with a great strike in the 53rd minute.

The Men's 040s and 045s both came away with Bronze medals.

The 040s, led by Alan Stoves, drew with France and then lost to Spain in their medal pool games. Despite a cracking goal from Simon Thompson against Spain, it was not enough as Spain edged the game, which England needed to win, 2-1.

The 045s were even more unlucky against Scotland in their last game because a last minute third goal for Scotland meant the England went from Gold to Bronze. A goal from Brad King, despite trailing 2-1 to Scotland had put England in pole position, but it was not to be.  This was all the more disappointing for Jake Read's squad because the day before they had brilliantly come from behind in the last few minutes to beat Germany 6 -5.

This was an excellent campaign for the English sides and a positive reflection on all the hard work and commitment shown over many months by the players and their management teams.  With a little more good fortune they could have improved on what was a tremendous haul of medals.

Special mention must be made of the excellent support that the sides received from an enthusiastic and at times extremely vocal group of family and friends.