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Final quarter comeback gives England win in series opener

Team England produced a rousing late comeback to overturn an early deficit and beat Israel 7-6 in the opening game of the five-match series.

Ryan Hunns scored the winner with 10 seconds left on the clock to take the victory after the hosts had led 3-5 midway through the second-half.

After a long day’s travelling to reach Netanya the team travelled to Kiryat Gat for the early morning face-off and get the tour underway.

Even before facing-off, the team had to overcome adversity as the long poles did not turn up at the airport the previous day and many thanks to Israel Lacrosse for providing replacements for the team at the venue.

Once underway, the game off to a fairly slow start scoring wise with both teams struggling for accuracy in front of goal and both ‘keepers were on top including Will Baxter who played the full 80 for 10 saves.

Alex Russell found the net in Q1 and Joe Baythorpe in Q2 but Team England trailed 2-4 at the half.

Once again, both defences appeared on top after the break with Will Hardy scoring the only goal in the third quarter to reduce the difference to one, but when the Israelis took a 3-5 lead early in the fourth, it seemed like an uphill battle to comeback.

However, enter Ryan Hunns, who scored a rapid double with pinpoint accuracy to level up the game, and when Alex Russell got his second, England were ahead for the first time.

With the boys on a 3-0 scoring streak, Israel took a timeout to try and halt the momentum and it seemed to work, as they quickly tied things back up off the following play.

England were then dealt a blow as the hosts gained an extra man opportunity but the defence, who were generally very tight throughout, held tight and managed to force the turnover and run down the penalty to put England in possession with 1:45 to play.

Looking for the game winner, England moved the ball around looking for the opportune moment to strike and with the clock running down, Hunns took on his man one-on-one from X, came round the crease and powered past the goalie to complete his hat-trick and give his side the Game 1 win.

The team now travel to Jerusalem today for Game 2, face-off 6pm UK Time, which will be preceded by both sides running a co-existence lacrosse clinic for 50 local youngsters from differing communities in Jerusalem.