After a fourth minute settler from Hannah Macleod, England held saw for most of the game to deliver an opening-day 3-0 win over Spain the Eurohockey Nations Championship in Boom.
Macleod’s goal came from a neat tidy-up on a Kate Walsh corner and it was Walsh herself who added another corner herself in the 17th minute.
Lily Owsley was on hand to finish a bobbler from close in following neat work from Alex Danson and Susannah Townsend who produced a cross from the righ baseline.
From there the game deteriorated into a mistake-ridden affair. Giselle Ansley produced a good corner save from Maria Lopez. Maria Gomez’s blaze into the sideboards when one-on-one with Maddie Hinch, could be costly if goal difference comes into play further down the line.
Scotland created more chances than Germany but lost 1-0 to a 22nd minute home goal. More composure in front of goal and the Scots, back in the top division for the first time since 2009m could havee forced an upset.
Belgium women played well enough and rode the home crowd to defeat Belarus 5-1. They will need to do more against the Netherlands tomorrow.
In another lop-sided encounter Czech goalkeeper Filip Neusser produced a stellar performance to hold a rampant Spain to six. Eddie Tubau has his shooting boots on in an ominous sign for Spain’s other opponents – they play Germany on Monday. Tomas Prochazka scored the republics first ever goal in the European top flight – from a thunderous corner flick.
With Belgium and Germany to play, it’s hard to see the Czechs facing anything more than a battle in the relegation pool. But with good corners they may well stay up for London 2015.
Nikki Symmons produced the highlight of the game with a high stick-save on the line from a Maartje Paumen drag flick. But Paumen did get one to take a first-half lead in a game where Ireland made little attempt to attack and camped out in their own quarter or most of the game.
The Netherlands sparked up with neat finishes – mostly off Ireland mistakes to take a 6-0 win without expending too much effort.
In the final game of the day, Germany and Belgium produced a sparkling encounter. Nicolas Jacobi beat away countless chances in the German net. Mats Grambusch stunned the home crowd to put the Olympic champions ahead early before two thunderous first-half Tom Boon corners gave Belgium the advantage.