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Hockey - 22. January 2008.

EuroHockey Indoor Nations Challenge, England (Women) v Denmark - FINAL

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre, Sheffield

Sunday, 20 January 2008

 

Results from every game will be issued at the end of the day with reports from each England game being issued after each of their matches.

 

ENGLAND (Women)

2

(0)

-

3

(2)

DENMARK

Emma Thomas 23,24 (F,F)

 

 

 

 

 

Charlotte Rasmussen 4 (F)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marianne Nielsen 20 (PC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matilde Lundberg 31 (F)

 

England were left devastated in Ponds Forge today after losing out in the final 3-2 against a Danish side who they had beaten 5-2 just yesterday.  Defeat for England means that despite topping a group which they dominated throughout, they fail to secure promotion to the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Trophy after falling at the final hurdle in a dramatic encounter.

 

2-0 down at half-time, England offered the home fans hope as they fought back to level the scores, but Matilde Lundberg’s goal with nine minutes remaining broke English hearts and left the team with Silver, when Gold had looked a certainty.

 

The home side, starting the game as favourites, lived up to this billing and dominated the early exchanges but failed to turn this dominance into goals.

 

So when Denmark took the lead through Charlotte Rasmussen it seemed it wouldn’t be long before England would be back on level terms.  Instead, just moments before the interval, the Danes’ penalty corner routine struck gold, as Captain Louise Hansen found Marianne Nielsen who shot low beyond Becky Duggan in the England goal.

At the other end, England had kept Mie Petersen busy, as she made fine saves to deny Natasha Brennan and Sally Walton among others.

 

After the interval, Petersen was called into action again to deny Alex Scott, but could do nothing when Scott found Emma Thomas overlapping to her left, allowing her in to peg back the Danish advantage.

 

Just one minute later Sarah Page found Scott, whose shot was blocked but Natalie Seymour moved the ball left for tournament top scorer Thomas to score an almost carbon copy of her first.

 

Momentum was with England, but it was the Danes who stole back the initiative, as Lundberg moved clear on the left of the England circle and fired beyond Duggan.  Their lead was nearly doubled moments later when Lundberg had the chance to make it four, but as the clock ran down it was England who looked the more likely scorers.  As the time ticked away, England won a brace of penalty corners which provided chances for Scott and Thomas, the latter of which came as final hooter sounded, for the match and unfortunately for England’s promotion hopes.

 

Speaking after the game, England Coach, Craig Parnham believed that there were positives to take despite the result, saying: “It’s obviously disappointing.  There’s nothing that’s going to make either myself or the players feel good at the moment.  The ultimate goal was to win this competition and we’ve failed to do that.  I was disappointed with the way we performed in front of goal today.  We were also a bit sloppy in our own defence, and that sort of combination doesn’t work out.  It’s a learning experience for the players and should they be in a similar position again they will hopefully make better decisions.  Although it’s not nice, we can take something from today.  It’s not a nice lesson, but it is a lesson learnt, so we can come back all the better for it in two years time”.

 

 

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