• Junior Performance

England U18s Make International Hockey Return

Over the weekend, England’s U18 Girls and Boys returned to junior international hockey competition as the teams travelled to Scotland for a series of test matches in the Four Nations.

Scotland v England U18 Girls:

Match 1, 10 July:

Scotland 0 – 2 England (Plumb - 5’ FG, Harris - 15’ FG)

Match 2, 11 July:

Scotland 0 – 1 England (Richards - 11’ FG)

England’s U18 Girls enjoyed a successful return in their first international series for almost 18 months, as they met Scotland’s U19 team in Edinburgh this past weekend. 

Despite the gap in experience, the England side opened the first match strongly, scoring two goals in the first quarter, both created by skilful work from Tasmin Cookman, and converted by Chloe Plumb and Kirby Harris respectively. Despite Scotland applying increasing pressure as the match went on, the England defence stood firm to keep Scotland at bay and leave the result at 2-0.

The second match was strongly contested by both sides. Despite Scotland looking bright from the outset, it was England who opened the scoring as Beth Alexander ran into the circle and found Eloise Richards, who celebrated her 18th birthday and international debut, to slot the ball home. Scotland persisted with sustained pressure but were restricted to very few chances. England had several opportunities of their own later in the game which were repelled by excellent work from the Scotland GK to deny any change to the score. 

Comments from Head Coach, John Bell:

“This young team really impressed me with their ability to go out and press hard, win the ball high up the pitch, and create multiple goal scoring opportunities. Two well taken first quarter goals were enough to see us through the game. Our development will be around achieving a consistent level in our intensity throughout a match and to apply technical detail to our attacking game with the ball, especially in the final third.

“In the second match, our back line found themselves under more pressure from Scotland's forwards. In the first quarter we defended resolutely but without getting any flow to our attacking game. We showed more intent and energy in the second half, which resulted in multiple threats on Scotland's goal. Our development will remain around consistency throughout the game and detail within our individual technical application of our group principles.”

Scotland v England U18 Boys:

Match 1: Scotland 4-1 England

England’s U18 Boys suffered a 4-1 defeat against an experienced Scotland squad at Peffermill on Saturday afternoon. The first half was an even affair with both sides creating chances but neither being able to capitalise on these opportunities. However, the game sprang into life quickly after the restart when Cowan opened the scoring for Scotland in the 33rd minute, this was soon being followed with a second by Jack. As the game progressed, the clinical Scottish finishing continued as they extended their lead in the 47th and 55th minutes with goals from Tweedie and Knight. Though England responded with a good goal down the right with Graves setting up Cotton for a nice finish, it was too little too late in what was a tough opening for the England Under 18 squad.

Match 2: Scotland 2-2 England

England responded well after the previous day’s match with a much-improved performance which showed encouraging signs for the forthcoming games against Ireland. However, it was the Scots who started strongly as they took the lead after just seven minutes through Knight. Though England responded brightly with a shot going narrowly wide, Scotland doubled their lead at the start of the second quarter through Tweedie from a penalty corner. England were rewarded for their renewed confidence as Cuttle scored from a penalty corner with a good drag flick as the team enjoyed their attacking impetus. In a frenetic opening half, Vaughan converted nicely into the bottom right-hand corner from a penalty corner to level scores at 2-2 with just over twenty minutes on the clock. As the game wore on, England continued to create opportunities and played some of their best hockey of the weekend through the second-half. The team looked to have won it at the death as Vaughan’s shot in the final seconds hit the post and squirmed away. After a credible 2-2 draw following the previous day’s result, England’s second match ended with penalty shuffles where Scotland came out the winners.

Head Coach Mark Bateman commented:

“It was a tough opening match against experienced opponents, and we look forward to improving key aspects of our play which we only showed in patches today. We need to demonstrate the ability we have in our squad on a more consistent basis.

“It was great to see a much more competitive and effective performance in our second game and we can now go into the Ireland matches with real confidence next week”.



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