England fail to clear Dutch hurdle

England’s women fell at the semi-final stage of the EuroHockey Nations Championship, losing 2-0 to defending champions the Netherlands.

The Dutch took the lead after 11 mins when Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel rebounded in a corner. The win was sealed when the ever-threatening Kim Lammers deflected home a cross-shot after 60 minutes. England’s first and only corner came after 66 minutes and was saved.

“We played quite well for the first two minutes and the last two minutes but they out competed us for the other sixty-six,” said England coach Danny Kerry. “They won all their individual battles, had excellent skills, carried the ball well and yes, they deserved their win.”

“We were a little bit tentative on the ball,” said skipper Kate Walsh. “We worked the ball forward but it just came back quickly. We need to believe in ourselves. The Dutch are good at tackling back and getting their sticks in. Some of out players couldn’t cope with that and that is very disappointing,” she said.

England will now play in the bronze medal match at 1pm local, 12noon UK time, on Saturday against the loser of the Spain vs Germany semi. The Netherlands and the winner of that other semi-final will both be at the London 2012 Olympic hockey tournament.