TDAS Blog: Day 11
We are nearing the end of our Amsterdam adventure and the good news is that Team England has not lost a single game in either the Men’s or Women’s tournament. Call me biased but Team England have well and truely played great lacrosse and are standing head and shoulders above the pack.
It was Semi-final day today, with Team England Women taking on Germany (last meeting 21-3) and Team England Men facing Netherlands who have had a bit of a resurgance (lastmeeting 18-4). The result had to be a win for both teams…well that was the plan!
Team England Women had the early start of a 9am draw, which did not phase them as they had an early night. From the warm up, they looked ready to play and it took just over a minute for Ruby Smith to register the first goal (i think I have said that on most of the blogs now). England continued to push for more goals with Lynch hitting the post and Merrifield breaking through the defence but shot wide. It was Watt who managed to convert a feed from Bruce to take England into a two-nil lead, before Smith got her second of the game.
It took another five minutes for England to score again, (that’s ages for a team scoring at will) however in the meantime, Bruce received a yellow card for dangerous follow through, which we all thought was a bit harsh, but she will return later to cause problems for Germany.
In a half where the German team only had the ball in their attacking restrainer five times, due to England’s pressure, Gaunt had little to do with only facing two shots from the German’s while also making interceptions. Plant and Lytollis would both find the net before Germany score, however this was answered straight back in less than twenty seconds by Lynch with a fine solo effort. Merrifield would bag the next two goals, one on an empty net after the keeper was called for shooting space and the other a dodge from the top of the fan.
England were now coasting, Gray dodging across the fan, fired a bullet of a shot into the top corner. The team were then reduced to eleven players as Bennett received a yellow card, for a follow through on a shot, which apparently hit a defender on the head (photo evidence proves one of the German defenders hit her own player!). The half closed with three more goals, two from Smith and one from Wimpenny to take England to a 12-1 lead.
The second half continued the same as the second ended, England were truly in control of this game, another four goals scored for the team before Germany managed their second goal. The middle part of the first half saw England make mistakes which has been unlike this team, even during this period, Germany still struggled, however they did manage to score and bring their tally to three goals. This would be the last German goal as England picked up their game after a time out talk from Coach Ritchie. The half would close with Watt having an easy tap in from a Bennett Pass. Final score, 20-3.
Another twenty goals scored by England proves how much fire-power they have and with limiting the opposition to just three goals, shows how secure Gaunt and Keogh’s goal is. The team go into the final knowing that they will have to be on top form.
Swing round to midday and the Men were up against the Netherlands. Once again England started well with the first attack of the game and a shot on goal by Gosney which was saved the Dutch keeper. It took minutes and a turnover from Baxter to set up a fast break attempt which Russell put away to take the lead for England. The Dutch were the first to have a man sin-binned and England took advantage with Watson creeping in two finish on top of the goal. The quarter would play out with Russell and Clive adding another two goals, however the Dutch were making a game of it with two of their own.
In the second quarter Netherlands came within touching distance after Watson was called for warding and then received a misconduct foul after questioning the call, the opposition used the man up to bring the game to 4-3. This would spur England on as the quarter finished with a goal each from Clive, Humphries and Bennett making it 7-3.
England would go on and win the third quarter, scoring three goals to Netherlands one in reply. Highlight this quarter would be Gallon’ solo effort from face to goal. The third quarter started with Russell ripping a shot into the top corner making the score 11-4. Humphries would delight the crowd as he faked on a dodge with the defending taking the bait, leaving Humphries with time and room to pick his spot. A further two goals (Gosney and Clive) would round up the scoring for England as the Dutch managed a consilation goal before the end of play.
At one stage this looked liked it would be a close game, however a big push from England secured the final place with a score of 14-5.
Any sport would be proud to have two national teams in the Final of a European Championships and Team England can be proud of the achievements to get this far. Both teams know the gold medal is not in the bag and it will be a battle. The women will take on the Welsh (current European Champs) while the men take on an Irish team that have been improving each day of the tournament.
TDAS Fact: The last time England Women faced Wales (Home Internationals in April), England came out on top 18-5
England Men played Ireland in their first game of the Euros with a win for England (11-7)