England Women Are Euro Champions

England’s women are the Unibet EuroHockey Champions after beating the Netherlands 3-1 on a shootout after a 2-2 draw in normal time on Sunday afternoon at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. The Netherlands seemed to be heading home with the trophy after Caia Van Maasakker converted penalty corners in the 40th and 43rd minutes to give the Dutch a two goal lead at the end of the third quarter. England wouldn’t give up and responded with two penalty corner conversions of their own in the fourth quarter. Former Surbiton player, Sophie Bray, now with East Grinstead, pulled one back in the 52nd minute, before the University of Birmingham’s Lily Owsley equalised two minutes later. Having pulled level, the momentum swung towards England when they led 3-0 in the shootout through Reading’s Helen Richardson-Walsh and Alex Danson and Bray. Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch had denied Willemijn Bos and Lidewij Welten before Ellen Hoog reduced the deficit to 3-1. When Surbiton’s Georgie Twigg failed to score from England’s fourth shuffle, the momentum threatened to swing back towards the Netherlands, but Hinch saved from Eva De Goede to give England their first European title since 1991 in Brussels. England lift the Unibet EuroHockey Championship Trophy at Lee Valley. Photo: Chris Lee. Surbiton’s Hollie Webb was in England’s starting line-up, with Twigg coming on in the fifth minute, and Giselle Ansley entering the...

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England Women Final Live On BBC 2 at 3.50 pm On Sunday

England women’s attempt at winning the Unibet EuroHockey Championships at Lee Valley on Sunday afternoon can be seen live on BBC 2 starting at 3.50 pm. The final against the top ranked Netherlands starts at 4 pm, and Surbiton’s Hollie Webb, Georgie Twigg and Giselle Ansley will be hoping to go for gold after having to settle for silver medals at both the 2013 Trifinance Euro Championships and 2014 Commonwealth Games finals. Back in 2013 in Boom, Belgium, England beat the Netherlands on a shootout in the semi-finals, 3-2 after a 1-1 draw in normal time. England’s goal in that game came courtesy of an own goal, which can no longer happen due to the experimental rule having since been revoked. England faced another shootout in the final, but Germany came out on top 2-0 after a thrilling 4-4 draw, in which Twigg opened the scoring in the third minute. Twigg looks forward to the 2015 final in an interview at http://www.englandhockey.co.uk/news.asp?itemid=33721&itemTitle=Twigg+looks+forward+to+%22rocking%22+Lee+Valley&section=22 Germany had to settle for bronze this time after a convincing 5-1 win over Spain in the third place final. Colin...

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Merchant Helps Scotland Preserve Top Flight Euro Status

Former Surbiton player, Becky Merchant, now with Edinburgh University, helped Scotland keep their top flight status as Poland were beaten 2-0 in the final Pool C classification match on Sunday. Poland dropped back to the second tier, along with Italy, who had lost 4-3 to Belgium earlier on Sunday morning. Scotland had beaten Italy 3-1 and lost to Belgium 1-0 before securing the win which earned the Scots sixth place overall. After the match, Merchant, who had scored the second goal against Italy on her 100th Scottish appearance, revealed that Scotland were happy with their finishing position. “Before the tournament, our target was sixth place and avoiding relegation. We’re happy to have reached our target, and that we’ve been competitive against higher ranked teams, England and Germany.” Merchant added: “We were disappointed to lose 1-0 to Belgium, but put that performance aside to prepare for the Polish match.” Belgium finished fifth overall having won all three Pool C matches, with Italy finishing seventh ahead of Poland on goal difference after both teams drew their Pool C match. Colin...

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Watt Wins Euro Medal

Michael Watt will have a European bronze medal on his c.v. when he returns to league hockey with Surbiton in September. His world 14th-ranked country Ireland overturned the odds in the Unibet European Championships bronze medal match to beat the 5th-ranked host nation at Lee Valley on Saturday afternoon. Twice they came back from a goal down, a Harry Martin giving England the lead from an open-play goal on eleven minutes and Adam Dixon restoring the lead with a penalty corner conversion in the 23rd minute. Both Irish equalisers came from penalty corners, converted by Shane O’Donoghue on 13 minutes and Alan Sothern on 29 minutes. The “Green Machine” finally took the lead from their third penalty corner of the game in the 39th minute, converted by Eugene Magee. Leading 3-2. they then defended gallantly, surviving two penalty corners until England elected to take off keeper George Pinner with three minutes remaining. England forced another penalty corner with 90 seconds remaining on the clock. But the ball was scrambled off the line and Ireland finally broke away two-on-one to force kicking-back Michael Hoare to concede a penalty stroke with two seconds on the clock. The Irish celebrations had already started as O’Donoghue converted to seal victory. After the match, England’s Dan Fox paid tribute to Ireland: “Whatever I say about us, we cannot take credit away from the Ireland side. They’ve done brilliantly this tournament. We’re so...

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England Women To Meet Dutch In Euro Final

England’s women will play the Netherlands in Sunday’s Unibet EuroHockey Championship final at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre after beating Spain 2-1 in the second semi-final on Friday evening. The Netherlands beat the holders, Germany 1-0 in the first semi-final on Friday afternoon and will stand between England and European glory at 4 pm on Sunday. In front of a passionate crowd, England once again took an early lead, Reading’s Alex Danson converting a penalty corner in the fourth minute. The game proved to be physical as Danson was carried off the pitch three minutes before half time after being hit by the ball from close range. In addition, in the second half, England lost their video referral after challenging the umpire’s decision not to penalise a foul on the University of Birmingham’s Lily Owsley, who was brought down in the attacking 23 metre area in the 39th minute. Spain had received two green cards in the previous six minutes with Patricia Maraña and Georgina Oliva forced to sit out of the game for two minutes each. A minute from the end of the third quarter, Oliva equalised for Spain with a stunning reverse stick shot which England goalkeeper, Maddie Hinch was helpless to stop. With the home crowd determined to lift England to the final, Surbiton’s Georgie Twigg threatened the Spanish defence and in the next attack set...

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