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Resilient England fight back again to win

A stellar final quarter saw Team England once again come from behind to defeat Israel 8-6 in Jerusalem.

An Alex Russell hat-trick and brace from Josh Sherry-Brennan spearheaded the England attack to victory after Israel took an early 0-3 advantage.

It was actually England who came out of the blocks faster from the go in Q1, holding lots of possession and controlling the tempo of the game; however, the period as characterised by wayward shooting and missed opportunities.

In contrast, Israel were limited to few scoring chances but made them count to lead 0-2 at ¼ time.

The second quarter continued much in the same vein and although boys continued to press, with Zac Guy in particular looking for something a bit creative to spark the team into life, they continued to be frustrated while Israel took the lead out to 0-3.

The upturn in fortunes was finally ignited with 5 five minutes to go in the half as Josh Sherry-Brennan, who had only arrived in Israel with the group an hour before face-off, fizzed one past the goalie from a restart, catching the Israelis unaware.

And from this point, the England attack showed much more fluidity in their plays with the movement on and off ball stepped up a level,  which looked to rattle the hosts’ defence which had been fairly comfortable up to this point.

Scorer then turned provider with Sherry-Brennan feeding a bounce pass into Alex Russell who produced a delightful spin inside round the crease to fool his man and score.
And when Ryan Sweetman beat the ‘keeper down low to his right on the inside with five seconds in the half, the two sides went in level at 3-3.

Q3 didn’t get off to the brightest of starts with Sam Russell being penalised for a slash on a ride and Israel duly took advantage of the extra man opportunity.

However, the boys continued to persevere and were soon level again when Alex Russell, finished from a tight angle to tie things back up.

The third continued in a back-and-forth manner with Israel going in front once again before Zac Guy ghosted in unmarked and scored on the turn to make it 5-5 by the end of the third and set-up a predictably tense final period.

After the previous day’s last quarter successes, England will have been confident heading into the final stretch of repeating that feat and as the game wore on had gradually improved their use of the ball and decision-making in the crucial areas.

Indeed, it was the English who came out fighting for the final 20, first Sherry-Brennan with his second, quickly followed by Alex Russell, who completed his hat-trick after Will Hardy picked out his cut to the middle to now lead the series goal-scoring charts with five.

While the attack had begun to fire, the defensive unit had also tightened up considerably with Israel behind forced into taking outside shots as England gave up few clear-cut chances, while Hal Dwobeng also grew into the game making some saves at crucial times when they did find a way through.

However, Israel did make it a tense finish by pulling one back to make it 7-6, after Dwobeng had saved, they were first to the loose ball to finish the rebound.

And after Dwobeng then received an unfortunate injury, Will Baxter was called upon to make a late appearance to which he fully responded, making two saves to keep the attackers at bay.

There was to be one final goal after another Israeli attack was shutdown, Jak Wawrzyniak came forward on the quick break and ripped one low under the ‘keeper to round things off and seal the second win in two days.

The team now have a very tight turnaround with tomorrow’s game in Ashkelon starting at 8am UK Time, which is being broadcast live on Israeli national television.