England Women beat Germany 2-0 in the Bronze medal match at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam on Saturday to gain revenge for their earlier 1-0 pool game defeat.
England were without Susannah Townsend, who sustained an ankle injury against the Netherlands in Thursday’s semi-final, but managed to score having ended up frustrated at their inability to penetrate the German defence in the pool match.
Both teams created chances in a competitive first quarter, but with two quality goalkeepers on the pitch: England’s Maddie Hinch and Germany’s Julia Ciupka, the game was goalless after the first fifteen minutes.
England had forced a penalty corner after just 44 seconds, only for the injection to be mistrapped, whilst Surbiton’s Giselle Ansley, and Laura Unsworth both had penalty corner efforts.
Germany fell behind a minute before half time, Ellie Rayer attacking down the right before crossing the ball into the circle where Surbiton’s Hannah Martin, with Ciupka advancing towards her, rotated before smashing the ball against the German backboard and celebrating the goal.
England also won the battle of the video referrals, Germany losing theirs early in the third quarter, only for England to use theirs wisely.
In the 55th minute, England captain, Alex Danson doubled the lead, former Surbiton player Sophie Bray attacking from the right before pulling the ball back for Danson to deflect the ball past Ciupka.
With 5 minutes and 45 seconds remaining, Germany elected to field a kicking back, which seemed to have been successful when they scored in the 58th minute, however England’s wise use of their video referral, which was also to deny Germany a penultimate minute penalty corner, proved that the German kicking back had used the back of the stick in setting up the goal.
The German players started to become frustrated as time counted down, and on the final hooter there was a contrast of emotions, joy on the faces of the England players, even though they went to Amsterdam for gold, and tears on the German faces, having come so close to winning a medal.
Surbiton’s Sarah Haycroft; Ansley; Hollie Webb (who was named as player of the match) and Martin were all in the England starting line-up. Emily Defroand and Jo Hunter both came on as fourth minute substitutes.
Webb was also named as Player of the Tournament.
More information can be found about the tournament in the Match Centre section of the FIH website here
The England Hockey match report can be found here
Highlights of the match can be seen on the BBC Sport website here but only to UK viewers.
The Netherlands beat Belgium 3-0 in the final, Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel scoring in the 12th minute; Kelly Jonker doubling the Dutch lead in the 48th minute, both goals coming from open play and Ireen van den Assem adding a last minute penalty stroke.