Italy won the EuroHockey Junior Championship II for women in Vienna. The Italians drew 3:3 against Ireland in an exciting and fast thriller in the decisive and last game on Sunday, taking their opponents with them on the two promotion-spots for Championship one.
For a long time Ireland looked like the winners. Two goals from Chloe Brown just before halftime and just after the restart (35, 36.) made it 2:0. Only three minutes later Emily Beatty scored the 3:0 and the game seemed decided. But Italy fought back hard and tied the game in the last 15 minutes. First captain Dalila Mirabella converted a penalty corner for the 1:3. In the 64th minute Maria Garraffo scored the 2:3 and only three minutes later Elisabetta Pacella converted another penalty corner for the 3:3 and suddenly Italy had the top spot. Ireland had the huge chance of winning the game, but they didn’t score from a penalty corner after the clock had run down.
Scotland beat Poland to take 4th place. Poland went ahead 1:0 with a goal from Magdalena Zagajska in the 17th minute, but Scotland answered before halftime: Emma McGregor tied the game with a penalty corner (25.). After the break it was Kerry-Anne Hastings who converted a penalty corner to make it 2:1 (48.) and sent Poland to 5th place.
Austria secured 7th place in their last game. The host took Lithuania apart, beating them 6:0 and sending them down to Championship III. The Autrians were already 3:0 up by halftime after two goals from captain Lisa Steyrer and a penalty stroke by Alexandra Sandner. After the break it took a while but Austria scored three more. Rafaela Rubas made the 4:0 (60.) two minutes before Steyrer scored her third goal of the day. With two minutes to go Marta Laginja made it 6:0.
Dalila Mirabella (captain Italy) was voted as the best player by the coaches, Alina Fadieieva, Ukraine as the best goalkeeper. Austrian captain Lisa Steyrer is the top-scorer with six goals. Hosts Austria also took the fair-play-trophy.
1 Italy Promoted to EuroHockey Junior Championship 2016
2 Ireland Promoted to EuroHockey Junior Championship 2016
9 Lithuania Relegated to EuroHockey Junior Championship III, 2016
Source material: Austrian Hockey