30th July 2016: After 20 games, 105 goals we have a new European Champion, The Netherlands

Final: 

Netherlands 2 (F van der Elst 2) Germany 0

Two Fay van der Elst deflections were enough to see the Netherlands win the girls EuroHockey Youth Championships final with a supremely composed performance to defeat Germany 2-0.

They controlled much of the play as their opponents sat deep for long periods, playing in half court an looking to pounce on the break when they good.

But the orange tide were patient and eventually took their chances when they came along. Van der Elst broke the deadlock in the 30th minute when she got on the end of Gabrielle Mosch’s powerful diagonal pass from left to right into the circle.

And the clinching effort came with 10 minutes remaining with one of the moments of a top quality tournament. Freeke Moes flicked the ball out of triangle of German players far out on the left wing to create the space and she spotted van der Elst racing into the circle.

The pass was slightly the wrong side of her body for a natural deflection but, no matter, she redirected the ball the opposite direction, wong-footing Karlotta Lammers to find the bottom corner.

It was a fittingly beautiful goal to match a strong tournament from the Dutch in which they improved rapidly from game to game. Indeed, their opening 4-3 win over Spain was their toughest moment, needing a last minute Yibbi Janssen goal to claim the points.

They also struggled in the first half against Belgium before emerging victorious while their first clean sheet only arrived in the semi-final against England.

There was no doubt about the final, however, as Marieke Dijkstra leads them a famous success.

 

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Bronze Medal Game: 

England 1 (L Millington) Belgium 1 (L Goeminne), England win 3-2 in a shoot-out

England goalkeeper Miriam Pritchard proved the hero as she kept out three Belgian shoot out efforts to earn the girls EuroHockey Youth Championships bronze medal in dramatic fashion.

It came at the end of a high octane battle between two incredibly closely matched sides with both side having chances a plenty. The Belgians got the first sense of the form Pritchard as she kept out a couple of corners while Alexia ‘t Serstevens was denied at close quarters.

England upped their tempo and bossed the latter part of the first half with Lily Wolstenholme a key threat. And they went in front 90 seconds into the second half when their press secured possession deep in enemy territory. Lucy Holder picked up the ball on the right baseline and while Pauline de Ryck got a great touch to deny her, the ball broke to Lucy Millington who slammed home from the top of the D.

They went close to a second from a corner soon after but Elisha Evans shot slid just wide of the right post. Wolstenholme also stung the pads of de Ryck before Belgium fought back.

 

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Pool C: 

Russia 9 (I Saratkova 3, A Golubeva 2, S Eroshina 2, V Borisova, V Serova) Poland 3 (N Suszynska, K Glowacka, M Polewczak)

Russia ended their girls EuroHockey Youth Championships week on a high note with a comprehensive 9-3 win over Poland at Garryduff.

The Russians ended as they had started – beating Germany 3-2 in their first game – and this result was never in doubt after a strong first half performance ended 6-1. Valeriia Borisova started the ball rolling with her seventh goal of the campaign.

Iuliia Sartakova added a double before the break along with goals from Svetlana Eroshina, Anna Golubeva and Varvara Serova. Erohsina added another after the break while Sartakova completed her hat trick. Poland, for their part, netted twice in the closing seven minutes to reduce the gap. Russia finished seventh and Poland eighth and will play in the second tier in 2018.

They went close to a second from a corner soon after but Elisha Evans shot slid just wide of the right post. Wolstenholme also stung the pads of de Ryck before Belgium fought back.

Lauren Vanhee had a huge chance from close range but Pritchard booted away the chance. Anouk van der Steen also had a huge chance go a begging.

The equaliser did eventually come with three minutes to go from a penalty corner. Sophie Limauge’s corner hit was half-stopped but Laetitia Goeminne was on hand to tap in the rebound.
England had a huge chance in the closing five seconds to win it but it eventually went to a shoot-out in which Pritchard did her thing, keeping out the first two Belgian runs on goal. Esme Burge, Mimi Tarrant and Wolstenholme all converted their efforts and when Pritchard denied Camille Lycke, the bronze was England’s.
 

Spain 6 (P Alvarez 3, L Abajo Saenz de Tejada, F Amundson, A Conill) Ireland 1 (M Carey)

 Patricia Alvarez’s hat trick saw Spain claim fifth spot from the girls EuroHockey Youth Championships with hosts Ireland forced to settle for sixth in the competition at Garryduff.

 Spain took the lead in the 13th minute when Florencia Amundson slammed home with sheer power with her fourth goal of the campaign.

 Ireland produced a fine response with Michelle Carey and Freya McDermott pushing them forward from midfield while Niamh Carey’s driving run ended with a smart Paula Ruiz save.

 Spain, though, were more incisive. Alvarez hit the post from one chance before Lucia Abajo Saenz de Tejada got a deft deflection to a crash ball for the second goal.

 Alvarez extended the lead further in the second half with an excellent attack through the middle, picking out the bottom corner across the goalkeeper’s bows.

Alejandra Conill hit the post for Spain for a second time moments later but Ireland never stopped battling and got their reward when Rosie Henderson flipped a pass through to Michelle Carey. She was 40 metres out from goal when she picked up the ball but the defence back-pedalled and she took fullt advantage, hitting a crisp strike through Ruiz.

Spain replied immediately, however, with Alvarez nabbing her second. Chances came and went at each end and Alvarez finished out the tournament with her third goal and Alejandra Conill got another at the end. The win meant they finish the tournament in fifth place with Ireland sixth.
 Final Ranking Pool C: 
Team GP W D L GD P
1 Spain 3 3 0 0 12 9
2 Ireland 3 2 0 1 -3 6
3 Russia 3 1 0 2 3 3
4 Poland 3 0 0 3 -12 0
Girls top goalscorers
7          Valeriia Borisova (RUS)
7          Carmel Bosch (NED)
7          Yibbi Jansen (NED)
Girls Best Player: Valeriia Borisova (RUS)
Girls Best Goalkeeper: Karina Golovastikova (RUS)