England def 3-0 Ireland photos by Andrew Beckett
England were ably supported by the Pukka Pies Brass Band who normally follow the England football team. The band played a whole host of well known patriotic songs which kept the vociferous home crowd amused throughout the match.
Danny Kerry, Head Coach for England Hockey (Women), commented: “Statistically and historically host teams have played tentatively during the opening match and although this was a solid performance I think there is a lot more to come from my team. Ireland weren’t very adventurous so we were limited in the style of hockey we could play and I am sure we will have the chance to play some more attractive hockey during the course of the Championships.”
Kate Walsh (Slough Hockey Club), women’s captain, added: “It wasn’t a particularly pretty performance but was good to ease ourselves in and get a win under our belts. The squad still have improvements to be made and it is important to iron these out before our next match against Italy on Monday.”
England vs Ireland/photos Andrew Beckett
Second in terms of size only to the World Cup, the EuroHockey Nations Championships welcome eight of the world’s best men’s and women’s teams with the top three sides in each category gaining qualification to next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
England after celebrating their third goal/photo Hockeyweb
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Spain def Ukraine 4-1/photos Andrew Beckett
Tickets are still available and can be bought through the tournament website – www.eurohockeymanchester2007.com