England: England U16 Girls and Boys Show Relentless Spirit in Training Matches in Germany

Wednesday 28 June: England 2 – 4 Germany

England U16 Girls kicked off their Germany series at Berliner HC with an exciting and erratic game. Germany pressed aggressively from the starting whistle and shocked England with a quick two goals in the first five minutes.

England rallied and enjoyed a period of threatening circle entries; Evie Grindal and Amelie Carter scored excellent goals to equalise. England couldn’t maintain their form in the final quarter and Germany countered with a further two goals to take a deserved win. Regardless, England’s performance was full of possibilities and left the team in no doubt that they could play exciting hockey in the coming days.

Thursday 29 June: England 1 – 4 Germany

A fiery start from England saw a pacey game develop, with lots of physicality and turnover. England had more circle entries in the first half, but it was Germany who were clinical and finished two goals. England rued a couple of near misses but were still very much in the game with opportunities throughout. Player of the Match Beth Gardens was integral in organising a much more structured England. In the final quarter, England decided to ramp up the pressure and pull the goalkeeper, but Germany clinically converted two PCAs. A brilliant finish into the netting by Martha Bainbridge gave England a consolation goal in the final seconds.

Friday 30 June: England 3 – 2 Germany

England came out with passion and intensity for the final game, determined to progress and convert some excellent play over the series into a win. The team played with speed and attacking intent and were rewarded with multiple circle entries. It was Germany who scored the first goal with a counter against the run of play, but England’s resilience was steely. A solo carry and strike from Evie Grindal was only saved by a magical piece of goalkeeping. Biba Mills countered with a PCA drag flick that found the backboard. Mills scored her second with a sublime first-time finish after a direct ball from Grindal. Germany equalised with a penalty corner, which left the game in the balance. A flurry of cards saw England a player down for much of the second half, but with huge defensive effort all over the pitch, and brilliant fighting spirit, they stayed in the game. It was another drag flick from prolific Player of the Match Mills to finish her hat trick that sealed the game, and England continued to defend furiously to see out the game.

England U16 Girls Head Coach, Don Vinson, said: “It was a genuine pleasure to see the development in intensity, communication, and structure throughout the series. Today marked only the second win for an England junior girls team against Germany in recent memory. To see out the win in the final game a player down, with grit, passion and discipline, was a remarkable achievement. Our Player of the Series, Ruby Massey, was a consistent performer in goal with plenty of action from a threatening German front line. We look forward to an exciting 8 Nations tournament in Granada next week, with a fired-up team full of potential.”

Wednesday 28 June: England 2 – 2 Germany

England U16 Boys started their series with a compelling 2-2 draw against a strong German U16 team at Wespen HC. Germany took the lead in the second quarter through a PCA. England swiftly equalised through a well-worked goal from Isaac Dale, after some lovely skills down the left. The second half was a tense affair, England took the lead with a stunning PCA goal by Toby Day. Germany found their second to snatch the draw in the final moments with another PCA.

Thursday 29 June: England 3 – 8 Germany

The England boys came into their second game with hope and optimism, following their draw the previous day. The game started at a frantic pace with five goals in the first quarter. A quick goal put the Germans in the lead, but England rallied and found two goals for themselves through Tom Mead and Charlie Harrison.  The Germans finished the slightly stronger of the two teams, scoring two further goals, close to the end of the quarter. The first half finished 3-2.
During the second half, although the England boys continued to apply high effort, they just could not find their flow and convert their chances, whereas the Germans did. The third and final England goal came from a superb PCA routine, with a neat deflection from Ben Mayes at the left post. The final scored 8-3.

Friday 30 June: England 5 – 1 Germany

England went into their final game knowing that they needed a response to the defeat in the second. From the first whistle the boys were on their game and determined to make every situation a ‘win’. Calm, well organised, and precise in their play, England’s resounding 5-1 win was the perfect end to the series.

Player of the Series was awarded to Isaac Dale. The squad look forward to the 8 Nations tournament hosted by Spain in Granada from 7-12 July.

by England Hockeyl

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