Germany defeat England in final shootout

[img_assist|nid=8553|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=75|height=100]England and Germany produced a thrislling 4-4 draw in the final of the European Championships in Boom. Germany then took the title on a shootout on Saturday evening.

The first half saw seven goals in end to end hockey. It took until the 66th minute for England to equalise.

Germany scored two from four and England failed to convert any of their chances the game was lost. It wasEngland’s best finish in a European Championship since gold in Cologne in 1991.

A rollercoaster first half saw Georgie Twigg, Kate Walsh and Helen Richardson all register on the score sheet. Surbiton’s  Twigg got England off to a dream start when she converted a Walsh penalty corner inside three minutes of play.

But the lead didn’t last long, almost immediately Germany equalised through another penalty corner and England lost their video referral after appealing the umpire’s decision.

In the eighth minute England took the lead back from a Walsh penalty corner. Germay took the lead with two Tina Bachmann strikes – the first from a corner, the second from the penalty spot.

England drew back level to 3-3 thanks to Reading’s Helen Richardson, who capitalised on a rare mistake in the German defence. After picking up the loose pass she drove into the circle and expertly drilled home a reverse stick shot past Kim Platten in Germany’s goal.

Germany then won a penalty corner in the final minute of the half which Hannah Kruger converted to give them a slender 4-3 lead.

After the interval England searched hard for an equaliser, but Germany’s defence proved too strong for much of the half. With about 10 minutes left on the clock England enjoyed a period of sustained pressure and they were rewarded in the 66th minute  equaliser. 

Great play from Alex Danson and Lily Owsley led to Reading’s Susie Gilbert getting her stick to the ball to deflect the shot home. At full-time the scores were level at 4-4 so a penalty shoot-out followed.

England lined up with the same players as against the Netherlands; Kate Walsh, Alex Danson, Laura Unsworth, Georgie Twigg and Helen Richardson, in that order, prepped for their shootout, with Maddie Hinch in England’s goal. Unlike Thursday night however, this one didn’t go to plan as England were unable to convert their chances.

Walsh, Danson, Unsworth and Twigg all saw their efforts saved and with Stockel and Teschke scoring for Germany the game was over. The final scored finished 4-4 and 2-0 to Germany in the shoot out delivering them the gold.

 Holcombe’s Maddie Hinch was named as goalkeeper of the tournament following some world class performances throughout the week, which included helping England to beat the Netherlands in their semi-final match.