Test series against Belgium
Coming up to the women's Hockey Junior World Cup, to be held in Mönchengladbach, Germany from July 27-August 4, England's U21 Women play the latest in a series of test matches - this time against Belgium.
Hosting the opposing team in Canterbury, England had to work hard to stay victorious on the home turf. Ultimately putting away nine goals against Belgium, England took away the win on the first two days, while Belgium managed to fight back to clinch the final game 2-1*. Head Coach Craig Keegan had these thoughts to say after the games were over:
"Over the past two weeks we have played 9 games in 14 days. This weekend we hosted Belgium in Canterbury, where I anticipated three very testing matches – England vs Belgium encounters are always closely run contests.
"This young England team dominated the early exchanges in match one and ran out worthy winners 5-2. Match two was much closer, and it took until the second half before England were able to get on top and control the game, winning 3-0.
"Game three was going to be a physical test for England having played a high number of games recently that combined with Belgium improving game on game. Both teams played aggressive hockey, scrappy at times, but the game failed to reach any great heights with Belgium coming out on top winning 2-1.
"The weekend was the last opportunity for players to impress before final selection. The team will now move back to Lilleshall on Friday for what is planned to be a tough four days of fitness based pitch sessions before we taper off in preparation for the Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany at the end of July."
*Full details on scores and scorers can be found below
More about the Junior World Cup
The Junior World Cup is held once every four years. There is a 16 team field, which will be split into four pools of four teams each. Following the preliminary round robin, teams will either move into a placement round for the bottom eight finishers or onto a quarterfinal, semi-final and final round. In total, every team is guaranteed six games.
England have been drawn in Pool D and will face tough opposition from Germany, Belgium and Spain.
Pool A will feature the Netherlands, Korea, USA and Ghana. Pool B includes Argentina, China, South Africa and Canada, and completing the field is New Zealand, Australia, India and Russia in Pool C.
England 5 (3)
Josie Inverdale, 1, PC
Stephanie Addison, 19, FG
Jo Leigh, 22, 41, FG, PC
Lucy Hyams, 39, FG
Belgium 2 (0)
Floraine Villain, 44, FG
Silke Steenackers, 53, FG
England 3 (0)
Grace Balsdon, 36, PC
Stephanie Addison, 46, FG
Josie Inverdale, 50, PC
Belgium 0 (0)
England 1 (0)
Eliza Brett, 40, FG
Belgium 2 (1)
Pauline Leclef, 64, PC
Source Material: England HockeyBack