28th August 2017: The EuroHockey Junior Championships got underway in Valencia today with 3 games, Netherlands v Belgium in Pool A and Germany v France and Ireland v England in Pool B:

Pool A:

Netherlands 2 (R van Laarhoven, M Veen) Belgium 1 (M Ronquetti)

Penalty corner goals from Renee van Laarhoven and Marijn Veen put the Netherlands on course for a 2-1 win over Belgium in their opening EuroHockey Junior Championship tie.

The first came 17 minutes in from a direct drag-flick while the latter saw Veen tipping in from a corner variation. It put them out of reach of the Belgians who fronted up well throughout the tie with goalkeeper Elodie Picard in fine form and they got a reward late on via senior international Marie Ronquetti in the final minute.

Pool B:

Germany’s Maxi Marquardt on the attack (c) Sander Uijlenbroek/World Sport Pics

Germany 0 France 0

France produced a superb defensive performance to land a famous draw against Germany in their opening EuroHockey Junior Championships tie in Valencia.

For France’s Emma Ponthieu, she said it was a hugely positive start to their campaign: “It’s a very good result for us because it’s the first time we have ever had this outcome [against Germany]. We were very strong in defence; our coach told us we had to do defend hard all the match and it worked.”

Indeed, her side started well, winning a corner inside the first five minutes. For Germany, it was a frustrating affair as they produced a number of good early chances, seeing one effort saved off the line and four corners go incomplete and France clung on to their clean sheet.

Ireland 0 England 3 (H Munro, E Sanders, H Hunt)

First half goals from Holly Munro, Erica Sanders and Holly Hunt set England on course for a solid victory over Ireland. Munro scored from a corner in the first two minutes before Sanders added the second before the end of the first quarter from another set piece switch.

Hunt then completed the result when she netted from mid-circle following an excellent ring-wing break. Ireland had the better of the chances in the second half, drawing good saves from Miriam Pritchard from their four corners with Hannah McLoughlin and Sarah Torrans going close.

English coach Colin Clarke said of the tie: “Really pleased. I thought the girls played really well, started strongly, very clinical in our short corners. That gave us the breathing space to control the game with diligent passing, knowing Ireland have to push forward in tough conditions.”

Irish coach Dave Passmore, meanwhile, added: “We just got punished when we played poorly. We started nervously and made a couple of errors and England were clinical. Two corners, two goals. We had more corners, way more of the possession but you have to play at 0-0 and not 3-0.”

Tomorrow’s fixtures:

 Tuesday 29 August 2017                                                                                          
15.30 WB Ireland v France Pitch 1 *
17.45 WB Germany v England Pitch 1 *
20.00 WA Spain v Netherlands Pitch 1 *

All games will be Live-streamed on www.eurohockeytv.org