Burge seals bronze for England’s Junior stars

Posted On 3rd September 2017

Women’s EuroHockey Junior Championships
Bronze medal match: England 3 (E Sanders, H Munro, E Burge) Germany 2 (N Aring, E Grave)

England produced an incredible comeback, scoring twice in the closing four minutes, to land the women’s EuroHockey Junior Championships bronze medal in Valencia, beating Germany 3-2.

The Germans looked to be in pole position with just five minutes left when they went ahead via Elisa Grave’s touch at the right post to Alisa Vivot’s delivery.

It gave them a 2-1 lead with time running out but England summoned a quick equaliser within a minute from a corner as Holly Munro slapped home from a clever switch move.

Any thoughts of a shoot-out were also quickly banished when Esme Burge powered home from the direct route at corner time in the 58th minute.

“Amazing, it was just such a team effort,” Burge said after the tie. “To come out with the win after all the hard work over the last six months is just the best feeling and we couldn’t wish for any more from a bronze medal game.

“One thing we have as a team is belief and we knew we could pull it out of the bag. We have such a strong culture within our squad and that really shone through. Whoever we play, we go out with the same attitude but it is nice to beat Germany to be honest!”

In the opening minutes, Lily Wolstenholme embarked on a striding run but her reverse-stick shot just slipped beyond the right post. Erica Sanders put them in front with her fourth goal of the tournament before the end of the first quarter, tidying up a messy corner move with a sharp finish in mid-circle.

And England continued to have the cleaner of the chances with Holly Hunt’s touch through for Wolstenholme unlocking the gate. The striker fired inches wide of the right post.

They held their lead for a long time until deep into the third quarter. Nicola Pluta made a wonderful first effort, diving at the back post to turn the ball onto the post and the danger was never averted, falling to Nele Aring to pop in the second phase.

That came with 16 minutes to go and they were in front ten minutes later from a beautifully worked corner, swept to the right post where Grave touched in.

England were not done, however, and they kept the faith, won two more corners and landed another bronze medal to go with their senior men and women last weekend.

Umpires: Y van Slooten (NED), S Adell (ESP)

Pool C: There was no action on the final day of Pool C as, under advice from the Tournament Medical Doctor, the Spanish teams were not allowed to play either of their final games of the EuroHockey Junior Championships.

After consultation with the TDs and the EHF Representative, it was agreed that these circumstances are not provided for in the Regulations and therefore EHF Regulations for EuroHockey Championships (Outdoor) Item D6 applies.

In the Women’s EuroHockey Junior Championship, Spain did not play their final Pool C v Ireland. Given these unprecedented circumstances, the two TDs and the EHF Representative have agreed to defer any further decisions to the EHF Executive Board.

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