TDAS Blog: Day 6
After a day of wins, (Men v Sweden, Women v Ireland) The Team England camp could be described as being on a high. However today would be a different test for both teams. Team England Men take on the old European foe’s in the form of Germany and this time there would no penalties to decide the outcome. England Women face the Netherlands, another team they have never faced in international competition.
Having beaten the Irish convincingly yesterday (26-4), it is more than clear that Team England Women’s have all the attacking power they will need to get them through the group games. With this in mind, the team had certain goals which they had to achieve during the game.
Dominating possession from the start, the team played a more controlled and patient game. A show of superior sticks skills as the team played the ball around the field utilising all players before going on the attack. It was five minutes before the ball hit the back of the net with skillful attacker Sophie Brett kicking off the scoring.
Team England Women were three goals ahead before they had to play down after Alex Bruce thought she had scored, only for the official to show her a yellow card for dangerous propelling (I thought it was a great shot!). Even while playing with one less player Team England still controlled the ball and ran out the clock, moving the ball up and down the field.
The first half ended with England leading fifteen goals to nil. The Netherlands could not handle the ability the English team had and the England defence limited the opposition to just one shot on goal.
A team talk that set out more goals to reach gave a new emphasis, however a goal in thirty seconds from the start for Brett showed that fifteen goals was not enough and they wanted more. After three more goals for England (2 for Bennett, 1 for Lytollis), the Dutch had a meaningful attack on Sally Keogh in goal, scoring their one and only of the game. Although the second half scoreline may read a closer game (8-1), that does not tell the full story as England had almost all the possession and out-shot the Dutch (13-3).
In what was a show of strength from the team, ten different players registered goals including Annie Hillier with the final goal of the game. With so many talented youngsters, the more experienced players including Merrifield, Lynch and Bennett, controlled all areas of the pitch, calling out plays and taking a lead on both ends of the field.
Tomorrow the team will take on Switzerland who have lost two games so far (in their first appearance at an international competition), scoring three and conceding thirty four goals. Its fair to say England will be in the goals again tomorrow.
On the other fields the Team England Men had started their match against the Germans. The players and coaching staff knew this would be a game where England had to really fight for every ball. Having come through a testing first quarter against a lively Sweden team, England knew that the first goal would be an important one and up stepped Glen Humphreys after a period of six minutes in which both teams were testing each other out. Humphreys was on target again for Englands second before the Germans registered a goal.
The second quarter saw four more England goals (Gosney, Clive, Bennett x 2), Germany could only reply with the single goal. This was the quarter that counted as England now had enough breathing space, however the Germans are hard workers and as the game became and more physical, England were made to work for every opportunity. The defence unit had to be playing their best and with Ben McAllister having a world class game, the Germans were kept out time and time again.
The next two quarters were close and both teams had plenty of the ball, with England winning both (3-2 and 4-2). Ady Bennett, England’s finisher once again led the charge for the team with four goals in the quarter, however a lot of praise must go to Ben Mac in goal. The England keeper finished the game with a 75% save ratio and kept England firmly in the lead.
The German team, although losing the game, proved to be a test for England and really made them work, but true quality shone through in the end as England ran out 13-6 winners. England had to serve around 12 minutes of penalties in the game and this is one area that Coach Bagley will be looking to improve on.
That’s two wins today for Team England and a step closer to the double gold dream!
TDAS Fact: Amsterdam has no less than 165 canals and 1,281 bridges, earning the city the reputation of ‘Venice of the North’.
(scroll down for the women’s and men’s pictures from day 6)