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England U17 defeat hosts at EU Nations Cup

The England U17 women’s water polo team opened their EU Nations Cup 2016 campaign with one win and one defeat in their first two games.

After a 13 – 10 loss to Malta in the tournament’s opening game, the English girls summoned the perfect response with a 15 – 8  (5-2, 2-2, 5-2, 3-2) victory over hosts Denmark in Odense.

England defeat hosts Denmark

England started strongly against the Danish side, storming to a 5-2 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Fleur Kennedy – who was part of the Team GB squad that finished 11th at last year’s European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan – added to her earlier hat-trick against Malta by finding the back of the net twice, while Emily Watkins, Emily Pilkington and Sasha Tinkler-Davies gave England their three-goal advantage.

Despite the host nation finding scoring twice in the second quarter, Frances Holder and Lauren Richardson were able to consolidate England’s lead to go into half-time with a 7-4 advantage.

In the third quarter, goalkeeper Naya Patel was in strong form between the posts, while at the other end of the field, England launched attack after attack.

Pilkington completed a well-deserved hat-trick, Kennedy and Watkins both scored their second goals of the game and Jordan Parsons also found the net to make it 12-6 heading into the final quarter.

In the final period, Pilkington secured her fourth goal of the afternoon before Tinkler-Davies and Richardson sealed England’s 15-8 victory.

The England U17 girls’ side – who are aiming for a top four finish at the tournament – will play their final group game against Wales tomorrow, 11.45am start BST.

England Girls’ 1999 Squad

  • Naya Patel – Grantham & Hucknall
  • Emily Pilkington – Sedgefield
  • Emily Watkins – Bristol
  • Jordan Parsons – Devonport Royal
  • Fleur Kennedy – Warley Water Polo
  • Sam Murby – Lancaster
  • Ellie Muncaster – Liverpool
  • Abbie Turner – Northampton
  • Sasha Tinkler-Davies – Otter
  • Frances Holder – Liverpool
  • Lauren Richardson – Leeds
  • Rebecca Lee – Manchester
  • Jennifer Herring – Exeter