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England U17s set to battle for bronze in Denmark

England’s U17 girls’ water polo team will face Malta in a battle for bronze at the EU Nations Cup 2016 in Odense, Denmark.

The English girls booked their place in the semi-finals with a 14-9 victory in their last group game against Wales.

Group B winners South Africa ultimately put paid to England’s hopes of winning the tournament, winning the semi 16-3.

But the English girls will have the chance to finish the competition on a high note against Malta, who defeated them 13-10 in the opening match of the tournament.

England 14 – 9 Wales

Having bounced back from the opening game defeat with a victory over hosts Denmark, England started the stronger in their final group game against the Welsh.

Knowing a win would take them through to the last four – and improve on their fifth place finish from 12 months ago – the English girls burst out of the blocks with early goals from Fleur Kennedy and Jordan Parsons.

Wales reacted well and it took some smart saves from English goalkeeper Naya Patel to maintain a 4-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

But England pushed on again in the second quarter to establish a three-goal advantage at the interval, leading 7-4.

And while the Welsh asked some questions again in the third quarter, recovering to trail 8-7 at one point, England regained momentum to secure the victory.

England 3 – 16 South Africa

Competing in their second game of the day, England faced a tough task against a South African side who had dominated their group, scoring 72 goals in their three games.

The English girls lost the first two quarters by 4-1 to leave them trailing 8-2 at half time before South Africa enjoyed a dominant third period, extending their lead to 13-2.

England steadied the ship in the final quarter, losing it 3-1, to restrict the South Africans to their lowest tally of the competition so far.

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