England’s Under-16 and Under-18 Boys and Girls played three test match series against their Belgian counterparts. At Antwerp, Belgium Under-16 Girls won the series 2-1, while same age group Boys’ series was tied 1-1 with one draw game. At Canterbury, England, Under-18 home-sides won both Girls and Boys series 2-1.
England U-16 and U-18 Boys and Girls vs Belgium Fixtures and Results:
|Date||Fixture and Results|
|Sunday 1 July||England U16 Boys v Belgium 1-2|
|Sunday 1 July||England U16 Girls v Belgium 0-3|
|Sunday 1 July||England U18 Boys v Belgium 1-0|
|Sunday 1 July||England U18 Girls v Belgium 6-0|
|Monday 2 July||England U16 Boys v Belgium 1-1|
|Monday 2 July||England U16 Girls v Belgium 2-3|
|Monday 2 July||England U18 Boys v Belgium 4-7|
|Monday 2 July||England U18 Girls v Belgium 3-0|
|Tuesday 3 July||England U16 Girls v Belgium 4-1|
|Tuesday 3 July||England U16 Boys v Belgium 4-1|
|Tuesday 3 July||England U18 Girls v Belgium 0-2|
|Tuesday 3 July||England U18 Boys v Belgium 3-0|
July 3: England U16 Girls v Belgium 4-1: ENGLAND Under-16 Girls secured a 4-1 victory over Belgium in the final clash of the three-match Test Series in Antwerp on Tuesday.
After two narrow defeats in previous days England secured victory in style, playing superbly and showing real signs of improvement over the course of the camp.
“This victory was just reward after yesterday’s disappointment,” said Assistant Coach Denny Dowley. “The girls have worked very hard and really improved over the three days.”
Megan Crowson opened their account after just seven minutes when she deflected home a cross from Ellie Rayer, and Cliodhna O’Malley doubled their lead on 19 minutes with a goal following a cross from Olivia Paige.
Erica Sanders tipped in the third goal following a cross from O’Malley, while they were 4-0 ahead two minutes later when Pascale Massey scored from close range.
Belgium pulled back a goal late in the second half, but it was no more than a consolation.
July 3: England U16 Boys v Belgium 4-1: BATTLING England Under-16 Boys ended their three-game Test Series against Belgium on a high, beating their hosts 4-1 in Antwerp on Tuesday morning.
With a defeat and a draw in their first two matches, it was still all to play for in the final match and the players responded superbly, much to the delight of their coaches.
“It was a pleasing game with some good goals scored,” said Head Coach Charlie Bannister. “Despite being tired after three matches in three days the guys showed a lot of tenacity and bottle, they fought to the end and deserved the result.”
Will Seward scored England’s opening goal after just eight minutes when a penalty corner routine broke down but he smashed in home. And they doubled their lead with Rhys Smith on target in the 21st minute.
The third goal came from a penalty corner on 47 minutes, Guy Mills scoring with a drag flick from the top of the D which took a slight deflection, but not enough to stop it reaching goal.
Belgium pulled back a goal on 53 minutes, but England had the final word on 67 minutes when Andy Oxburgh deflected the ball across goal following a good cross from Will Calnan.
July 3: England U18 Girls v Belgium 0-2: ENGLAND Under-18 Girls went down two-nil to visitors Belgium in the last of three friendly fixtures at Canterbury on Tuesday.
After two emphatic victories in the previous days, the team looked more tired than their rivals, and despite holding them to a goalless draw in the first half, Belgium scored twice after the break to secure a victory.
“We started off in the same way as the other games and had numerous chances which were wide of the mark,” said Team Manager Jo Thomas. “But in the second half Belgium came out hard and looked fitter then England, and they managed to break through a tired defence.
“We had a lot of good pressure in the second half, but we couldn’t convert our chances. In the last ten minutes of the second half we played the best hockey of the day and we strung the Belgium side high and wide, but couldn’t score from it.”
The breakthrough for Belgium came on 45 minutes when they made the most of some slack defending to score from open play. And the second goal was seven minutes later, again from open play.
The ball was crossed in from the left and although the first shot was saved, a Belgian stick was first to the rebound and scored.
July 3: England U18 Boys v Belgium 3-0: ENGLAND Under-18 Boys bounced back from the previous day’s defeat in style, beating Belgium 3-0 in their final clash at Canterbury on Tuesday.
The team were disappointed to have lost out 4-7 on Monday, but made amends with victory in the final match. But it was the manner of victory which pleased the coaching staff and players alike.
Head Coach Jon Bleby said: “This match was a great improvement in our team performance, especially our individual defence. The character and energy shown today was outstanding and we now look forward to our series in a week in Ireland.”
Sam French opened the scoring from England’s first penalty corner after just five minutes, shooting straight and low to the right. But the rest of the half was reasonably even, with both sides creating penalty corner chances but failing to capitalise.
England found themselves under pressure early in the second half but they weathered the storm, and on the hour mark Chris Proctor deflected into the net after Jonny Ruiz had made space and crossed from the left.
Finally, the third goal came two minutes from time. Arjan Drayton Chana tackled a defender near his own 25-yard line and broke into the circle. A pass to Sam French was hit home mid-dive to cap the win.
July 2: England U18 Girls v Belgium 3-0: DESPITE scoring half as many goals, England Under-18 Girls turned in an improved performance to beat Belgium 3-0 in the second of three matches at Canterbury on Monday.
Both sides came to the match sharper and stronger, and England’s coaching team were pleased with the way their players had responded to things learned in training.
The first half ended goalless but England had created plenty of chances and dominated. However, it took them just five minutes to open their account with Alice Freeman being taken down in the D and Lucy Wood scoring the stroke.
They doubled their lead on 49 minutes with a good cross from the right finding Olivia Chilton who fired home from the top of the D. And on 52 minutes England scored their final goal. Lucy Hyams battling along the byline before crossing back to Eliza Brett who scored confidently.
Team Manager Jo Thomas said: “We obviously didn’t score as many goals as we did in the first match, but if anything it was a better performance, certainly in the second half.
“We put into practice more of the things we’ve been working on in the last 24 hours, and our goals today were a product of that work. “Belgium too were better organised and looked sharper, which made for a fairer match, but I’m pleased that we managed to keep a clean sheet.”
July 2: England U18 Boys v Belgium 4-7: Narrow one-nil winners in their opening match, England Under-18 Boys went down 7-4 to Belgium in the second game of their three-match test series on
England took an early lead with Sam French firing home a straight shot in the sixth minute from a penalty corner, and he was to prove a thorn in Belgium’s side throughout the match.
However, the visitors hit back shortly after with Marco Moretto scoring from their opening penalty corner on 11 minutes. Cedric Struyff gave Belgium the lead on 27 minutes, and Tom de Groote made it 3-1 with a shot which came off Jonty Griffiths’ stick.
They took a 4-1 lead shortly before the break with Zumian Steemachers netting on the counter attack down the left. But England rallied early in the second half, and created plenty of chances. Rob Farrington injected a penalty corner before striking home the ball when it was passed back to him on the angle.
And on 44 minutes England pulled it back to 4-3 with French scoring his second goal with a low shot from the right.
However, Belgium were still dangerous and made it 5-3 with a counter attack from Quentin van Lierde, before De Groote added his second goal to make it 6-3 on 55 minutes. Van Lierde added his second goal on 58 minutes to put his side 7-3 ahead, rendering French’s third goal a consolation on 65 minutes.
“It was a very good quality game with some of the rustiness of the first day having worn off,” said Team Manager Martin Langston. “We were very pleased with a lot of our possession and movement, but we were undone on the counter-attack.
“Some of the high quality passing play and inter-linking was excellent, and a step up from the first game.”
July 2: England U16 Girls v Belgium 2-3: DESPITE putting on an improved performance, England Under-16 girls lost out 3-2 to Belgium in the second game of their three-match series in Antwerp on
England led two-nil at half time, but Belgium bounced back to level with two goals in six minutes, before they won a penalty corner and snatched victory with a last gasp goal. Ellie Rayer gave England the lead in the 20th minute, tapping the ball home after a goalmouth melee, and shortly after half time England doubled their lead.
After good work from Meg Crowson in forging into the D, her shot at goal was deflected home by Erica Sanders at the far post. But nine minutes later Belgium were level with open play goals coming on 40 and 46 minutes.
And the home side clinched the win when, at a 70th minute penalty corner, England were disappointed to have a goal awarded against them.
Head Coach Marc Bourhill said: “It was a much improved performance. The girls worked extremely hard and were unlucky to lose the match. We will now be looking to bounce back and end on a high with victory tomorrow.”
July 2: England U16 Boys v Belgium 1-1: ENGLAND Under-16 Boys turned in an improved performance against hosts Belgium in the second of their three-match test series in Antwerp on Monday. Harry Roberts’ 13th minute goal gave England a lead which they held until midway through the second half, and although Belgium struck back on 56 minutes England held out for a draw.
Rhys Smith started the move which led to the goal, taking a good ball on the 25-yard line and driving through into the D. His reverse stick shot bounced off the goalkeeper, but Roberts was on hand to clean up the rebound.
James Waite played well in goal and was the Man of the Match for England, who will be looking to end the series with a victory in the final match on Tuesday morning.
“The overall intensity of the England team was far better and more consistent than it was in the first match,” said Head Coach Charlie Bannister. “We suffered a little more penetration from Belgium today and they got more short corner chances, but James Waite did well to save them and keep us in the match.”
July 1: England U18 Girls v Belgium 6-0: A dominant second-half display saw England claim an impressive 6-0 victory over Belgium on Sunday.
Hannah Pike put them ahead after just five minutes after reacting first to a saved shot and tucking the ball away. Although England had much of the possession in the first half, they were giving the ball away too cheaply in defence and as a result Grace Lawes had to pull off some great saves to keep the Belgians at bay.
Half time proved to be pivotal as a well taken Olivia Chilton goal on 45 minutes settled the nerves and allowed the team to play with confidence.
The team began to retain the ball at the back, allowing play to flow through midfield. As the game wore on, Belgium were stretched high and wide and the English girls took a firm hold. Lucy Hyams showed great tenacity to intercept the ball on the half-way line before driving towards goal for the third.
No challenges came in as she closed in and although the keeper made a save from her initial shot, Hyams didn’t hesitate to sweep home the rebound. For the fourth, superb play down the left flank from Kitty McWhirter resulted in a tempting cross being whipped in. It found Alice Freeman who finished with aplomb.
Lily Elliott’s tidy finish from yet another rebound stretched the lead to five and there was no way back for Belgium who finished the game by fouling Hannah Pike in the D. Hannah took the penalty stroke herself, hitting it low to the keeper’s left for her second of the match.
Assistant coach, Sarah Kelleher, was enthused by the performance in the second half. She said: “The girls, especially in the second half, were fantastic. “They kept the ball much better in the second half, looked dynamic, provided some outstanding finishes and there were goals from all over the pitch with attackers and defenders scoring.”
July 1: England U18 Boys v Belgium 1-0: ENGLAND Under-18 boys made a winning start to their three-match Test Series against Belgium at Canterbury on Sunday, coming out 1-0 after an entertaining match.
Joe Sharp’s 16th minute goal from a penalty corner proved enough to beat the visitors, but despite the lack of further goals there were plenty of chances and end to end hockey on show.
“It was a battling display with plenty of moments of high quality hockey,” said Assistant Coach Jamie Kingstone. “But it was fairly scrappy on both sides for the majority of the game and there is plenty to work on in this series.”
England’s first penalty corner led to the only goal, with Sharp scoring on 16 minutes. The flick was saved, but the rebound came out to the top of the D, where he hit the ball into the top left of the net.
Sharp had a good chance to double his tally late in the first half when he broke into the D on the right hand side of the circle, but his shot went into the side netting.
Belgium chased the game hard, and on 29 minutes Brooks was called upon to parry a good shot over the bar. But the visitors lost impetus in the second half with a series of cards leaving them down to nine players at one point. England created several chances during these periods, but couldn’t capitalise.
When back to full strength Belgium pressured again, and although England looked dangerous on the counter-attack they couldn’t add further to their tally.
July 1: England U16 Girls v Belgium 0-3: A promising performance from England Under-16 Girls was not enough as a more ruthless Belgium side beat them 3-0 in the first of a three-match Test
Series in Antwerp on Sunday.
England enjoyed more possession than their rivals, had more shots on target and more penalty corners, but just couldn’t convert their chances. In contrast, Belgium were clinical where it mattered.
England conceded an early goal after just two minutes when they needlessly conceded a penalty corner which was smashed into the goal with a straight strike from the top of the D.
England regained their composure for the rest of the half, but couldn’t pull themselves level despite having eight shots on target to Belgium’s three.
Twenty minutes into the second period the hosts doubled their lead from a similar penalty corner routine, and they made it three-nil on the hour mark when a defensive error let them round the goalkeeper and tap the ball home.
England will be aiming to cut out their errors – and make more of the chances they know they can create – over the next two days when they will meet the same opponents again.
July 1: England U16 Boys v Belgium 1-2: Battling England Under-16 Boys paid the price for a five minute lapse of concentration as they went down 2-1 to hosts Belgium after an otherwise strong
performance in Antwerp on Sunday.
England had defended well throughout the first half and were unlucky not to be ahead at half time. But a five minute spell straight after play resumed where they lost focus cost them dear, with Belgium finding the net twice in a three minute period.
“We had five minutes of madness where our intensity dropped,” said Head Coach Charlie Bannister. “The boys take full responsibility for that, but if you take that period out of the picture we had the better of the game.”
The two sides enjoyed roughly the same number of chances, with Harvey Waller putting in an excellent first half cross which was just missed, and Caelan Dillon in the England goal only really had to be called upon to make a save once in the first period.
After conceding two goals in three minutes England stemmed the flow once again and played some good hockey, but their only goal came too late, Oliver Nail deflecting home from a penalty corner with just four minutes remaining.