The Boom version of ‘God Save the Queen’ played at the ground was a dirge, but England’s men got their European Championships off on the right note with a 5-2 win over Poland.
“The scoreline flattered us,” said England coach Bobby Crutchley who was frustrated with the performance.
But there were some decent moments with Ali Brogdon producing a good hit from the top of the circle for England’s fourth. And Tom Carson delivering another decent smash on a PC rebound for the fifth.
Before that Adam Dixon gave England a head start with a neat turn in from a cross supplied by Henry Weir from the right.
That goal in the 14th minute was the only game of a half increasingly affected by bursts of heavy rain.
Poland’s equaliser five minutes into the second period was devoid of quality until the finis. Several mis-passes and traps ended up with Tomasz Gorny with his back to goal at the top-right of England’s D. But his excellent reverse hit was enough to beat Geoorge Pinner’s left kicker.
It took two goals in a minute from David Condon, both deflections to seatdy the ship by the 45th minute.
Then Poland started to build some pressure and finally converted a corner in the 55th minute through Michal Nowakowski who barrelled a drag-flick past Barry Middleton on the left post.
Pinner then produced some decent saves to deny Poland another equaliser at what could have been a real turning point.
That set the stage for Brogdon and Carson to make the win certain.
England lost 2-1 to Germany after having a video appeal for a deliberate stick obstruction turned down in the dying seconds. Marie Mavers gave Germany the lead in the 29th minute. This was equalised right on the stroke of half time when Giselle Ansley produced one of the best finishes of Boom so far – a running slap hit high into Kim Platten’s net after the keeper failed to clear a reverse pass/shot from the left by Alex Danson.
Mavers tidied up a PC for Germany in the 51st minute.
England then drew several saves out of Platten and one stick save on teh line by Julia Muller from an Ansley corner.
Hannah Macleod appeared to have her stick caught as she attempted what was England’s last opportunity of an equaliser. But the video umpire said no.
Scotland women conceded the fastest goal of the tournament – 18 seconds by my watch – when Maria Gomez got a great connection on a first-time reverse shot first time from the left middle of the circle. After that, Scotland had enough posession to win two gams and enough composure in front of goal to win none.
Nikki Kidd’s corner finish in the ninth minute was the exception but after that a string of chances went begging both before, and after Gomez’s second in the 26th minute.
Scotland’s hopes lie in turning the tables on southern neighbours England at 2pm on Tuesday.
In other games Ireland defeated Belarus 3-2 to keep their hopes of avoiding relegation alive.