EuroHockey: England men punish Poland; women edged out
PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 August 2017
England’s men started their Rabo EuroHockey Championship campaign with a dominant 6-0 win over Poland.
Braces from Mark Gleghorne and Sam Ward alongside strikes from Chris Griffiths and David Condon made for a comfortable victory in Amsterdam ahead of Monday’s clash with Germany.
But the women’s team were frustrated in a 1-0 defeat to their Germany rivals, despite creating a number of good opportunities.
Germany were 1-0 up after five minutes and managed to hold on resiliently, with England looking for a win over Scotland on Tuesday to ensure a place in the semi finals.
A draw could also be enough depending on Germany’s result against Ireland.
The opening minutes of the men’s mathc were very open with both sides making dangerous circle penetrations, while George Pinner was forced into early work from a Poland penalty corner.
However, England soon settled and began to take control, with Barry Middleton dribbling into the circle to win England’s their first penalty corner of the game.
Gleghorne stepped up and flew an unstoppable drag-flick into the top right corner put his side ahead.
The rest of the quarter belonged to England who slotted into a strong attacking rhythm and Phil Roper’s strike was saved and Henry Weir flashed a dangerous ball across goal before another Gleghorne drag-flick was well saved.
It wasn’t long before England deservedly doubled their lead early in the second quarter as another penalty corner gave Gleghorne the chance once again from the top of the circle and he dragged his effort hard into the bottom left corner with aplomb.
England refused to take their foot off the gas and two goals late in the quarter saw them take a 4-0 lead into half-time.
Firstly Griffiths made a darting run down the wing and his cross was turned in off a Polish stick before Ward made it four with a low drag flick from another penalty corner.
The third quarter saw Poland tighten up in defence against more consistent England pressure but with the quarter nearing its end Michal Kasprzyk was shown a card and England quickly capitalised on this to make it 5-0 as Condon’s deflection finished off a fine team move.
England had to wait until the closing minutes to further extend their lead in the final quarter, with Middleton cutting back and allowing Ward to finish from close range and grab his second shortly before the final whistle.
England: George Pinner (GK), Brendan Creed, Liam Sanford, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Ian Sloan, Barry Middleton, Phil Roper, Sam Ward, Chris Griffiths, David Condon, David Goodfield, Adam Dixon, Mark Gleghorne, Harry Martin, David Ames, Ollie Willars
Unused sub: Harry Gibson (GK).
England’s women dominated large periods of their clash, but weren’t able to convert their chances as they found Julia Ciupka in top form in the German goal.
But qualification to the semi-finals remains in England’s hands, a win over Scotland in their final pool game on Tuesday would see them progress.
Germany made the faster start and after five minutes moved into an early lead as, working the ball down the right and into a crowded circle, the ball eventually fell to Pieper who lifted her effort past Maddie Hinch from close range.
This sprung England into action and their response was strong as they went on to dominate the remainder of the quarter.
Susannah Townsend stormed into the circle and her strike caused a goalmouth scramble that was cleared and moments later Sophie Bray’s cross found Alex Danson but her effort was also stopped by goalkeeper Julia Ciupka.
England maintained this attacking pressure after the first break with Townsend and Danson again going close, but Germany were able to keep them at bay.
There was to be more frustration in the third quarter for England as Ciupka continued to be at her best, again denying Townsend and Danson as well as an effort from Sarah Haycroft.
Germany went close to doubling their lead against the run of play but Hinch produced a spectacular glove save to keep England in touching distance.
The final quarter was a more comfortable one for the Germans who enjoyed more possession of the ball and were able to create some pressure of their own.
The best chance though again fell to England but Hollie Webb turned Ellie Rayer’s cross just wide of the far post with a first time effort.
England elected for a kicking back in the final minutes removing Hinch but Germany held firm to take all three points and secure their place at the top of pool B.
England: Maddie Hinch (GK), Laura Unsworth, Anna Toman, Hollie Webb, Giselle Ansley, Susannah Townsend, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Lily Owsley, Alex Danson, Sophie Bray, Ellie Watton, Emily Defroand, Jo Hunter, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Haycroft, Zoe Shipperley. Unused sub: Amy Tennant (GK).