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Bronze for England’s girls as they learn valuable lesson at EU Nations tournament

England’s U17s girls bagged a bronze medal at the EU Nations Junior Women tournament and learned a valuable lesson ahead of this summer’s European Championships.

Having won all three of their group matches in the competition, England were drawn against Germany in the semi-finals.

And although they were beaten 9-5, their performance in the second half gave them plenty of encouragement ahead of the Europeans which take place in Valos, Greece, in September.

Head coach Sarah Dunsbee said: “The team has had a good weekend and earned a good, solid third place.

“This tournament was part of our training programme towards the Europeans. The game against Germany enabled the team to feel what it is going to be like playing in that competition.

“After a slow start, the girls fought hard to try and turn around a 7-1 half-time deficit. And although we lost 9-5, they have learned how to play at another level.

“We’ll now look to gain such quality opposition over the summer so we can start the Europeans playing at the level we need to.

“I’m looking forward to September and seeing the girls competing on the European stage.”

England opened their EU Nations campaign in Brno, Czech Republic, with an 11-3 victory over Wales, Katie Bowater scoring four and Lucy Mills three.

A 17-0 win over Czech Republic II, with hat-tricks form Bowater and Lilymay Girvin, followed and they faced Denmark in their final group game knowing a win would see them top the group.

And Girvin, Anna Motley, Olivia Henderson and Imogen Smith all scored three each as England cruised into the semi-finals with an 18-3 victory.

Girvin added another two goals to her tally in the defeat against Germany and she finished the tournament as England’s joint top scorer, alongside Mills, with 10.

In the bronze-medal match, England faced Denmark again and ran out comfortable 16-3 winners, Mills netting four times, while Henderson and Amy Berry scoring hat-tricks.

Skipper Berry said: “We have really pushed through our hard team work.

“After the Wales match, we realised our defence was strong and we needed to work on our attack and we really pushed through to get that better every single time, especially in the Denmark game.

“We did really well and did not give up at all.”

Vice-captain Girvin added: “The highlight of the weekend for me was the Germany game as it taught us how we have to play the Europeans.

“We really stepped up to that high level of polo and really worked as a team. It was definitely our best game of the tournament. Even though we lost, we played up to those high levels.”

England U17s EU Nations squad

  • Annie Holt
  • Eve Poole
  • Lilymay Girvin
  • Emma Cogni
  • Amy Berry
  • Anna Motley
  • Lucy Mills
  • Anashe Chisadza
  • Katie Bowater
  • Imogen Smith
  • Olivia Henderson
  • Erin Andrew
  • Alexandria Robinson
  • Eda Colliver
  • Emily Campbell-Lamerton
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