Tournament Update #3:
European Championships 2021
By Surbiton HC
The home nations returned home empty-handed but with plenty of learning from intriguing Euros tournaments…
England’s Men gave it their best shot but missed out on European bronze on Saturday morning. Hopes of a medal were high after a fantastic victory in the pool stage and some excellent hockey throughout the week. Sam Ward added two further penalty corner goals to his tournament tally but despite another strong performance from England, world champions Belgium had too much on the day, taking a 3-2 win and with it the final spot on the podium. England’s fourth place finish secures their World Cup qualification for 2023 and a place in the A division at the next European Championships.
The Welsh Men finished their tournament with a 3-3 draw with Russia, condemning them to a seventh place finish. Wales can still secure a spot at the 2023 World Cup but will have to do it the hard way through a qualifying tournament later this year. Despite being on the end of a couple of heavy defeats against Europe’s traditional powerhouses, Wales put in some good performances during the tournament and will hope to retain their place in the A division through qualifying.
England’s women put together their best hockey at the end of the week with wins over Ireland (5-1) and Scotland (3-1) respectively. After a challenging start to the tournament, England’s young team will be relieved to have secured the final available World Cup place by finishing fifth overall and scoring some field goals in the final two games of the tournament, but ultimately leave Amsterdam disappointed after missing the European semi finals for the first time.
Scotland were good value for a 3-1 victory over Italy on Friday but found themselves on the end of the same scoreline against England in their final game of the tournament. This meant a seventh place finish and the prospect of qualification tournaments for both the 2022 World Cup and 2023 European Championships. Having yo-yo’d between Europe’s top two divisions over the last decade, the Scots will look to build on the good progress made throughout the tournament this time around.