Alex Danson 28 (F)
Helen Richardson 31 (F)

Germany 0 (0)

England’s women won their first ever World Cup medal as they deservedly beat Germany 2-0 to claim bronze at the BDO FIH World Cup in Rosario in Argentina.

The result gives England their second medal in as many months following their bronze medal victory over Germany at the Champions Trophy in Nottingham in July and sets them up for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In a first half in which clear cut chances were few and far between a spark of magic from Reading forward Alex Danson gave England the lead just before the half hour before she set up clubmate Helen Richardson to make it 2-0 moments later.

The second half saw more opportunities with both goalkeepers called upon to make saves. The pick of the bunch for England’s Beth Storry came from close range with 20 minutes remaining while Germany’s Kristina Reynolds kept out two Crista Cullen penalty corners in the final quarter of an hour.

Head Coach Danny Kerry admitted afterwards: “It’s very emotional. There are times when we could play better and I there is more to come from the squad but overall this was a good performance. Germany are a very strong team but we took our chances well and were able to control their threats.

“We’re delighted with bronze and really, if you think about it, we have only lost one game in the tournament if you don’t count the penalty strokes against the Netherlands.”

Prior to the match, England’s best ever World Cup result was fourth, 20 years ago in Sydney. Two days earlier, England had suffered heartbreak in a semi final penalty shoot out to world number ones the Netherlands after which Head Coach Danny Kerry had talked about the need to get his charges back up and focused on the bronze medal clash with Germany.

Despite being ranked sixth, two places lower than their opponents going into the tournament, England were far from overawed having won both clashes between the countries at the Champions Trophy in Nottingham. Playing their seventh match in 14 days, the prospect of a first ever English medal at the women’s World Cup was a strong motivator for Kate Walsh and her teammates following the disappointment of their semi final defeat.

England put their Dutch disappointment behind them as they set about dominating play in a first half that really came alive in the final ten minutes. Despite England enjoying the better of the opening exchanges it took until the 15th minute of the match for either side to test a goalkeeper. With quarter of an hour on the clock Reading forward Alex Danson strode through the heart of the German defence to slap a shot goal, which Kristina Reynolds kept out with her chest.

There was little in the way of clear cut chances for Germany in the half but Katharina Otte may have done better to control a cross from Nina Hasselmann midway through the half, rather than attempt a deflection from some way out, which went comfortably wide of the England goal.

True goal scoring opportunities were scarce but on 28 minutes Leicester’s Hannah Macleod, scorer of England’s goal in the semi final, received the ball at the top of the German circle and with her back to goal she fed teammate Danson. Holding off the challenge of Hasselmann, Danson unleashed a reverse stick shot that flew beyond Reynolds into the far side of the net. The goal was England’s 100th against Germany in competitive fixtures stretching back to 1935.

Three minutes later England’’s top tournament scorer Helen Richardson doubled the lead after Danson fed her for a neat deflection. Danson picked a loose German clearance midway inside the Germany half and seeing the run of Richardson, fired a straight pass onto the end of experienced midfielder’s stick. Richardson’s connection was inch perfect as she redirected the ball through the legs of Kristina Reynolds to put England 2-0 up and in control.

England goalkeeper Beth Storry was called upon two minutes from the break as she made a straight forward clearance that posed no trouble for one of England’s stand out players of the World Cup.

In the dying seconds of the half, following a green card for Germany’s Tina Bachmann, Hannah Macleod might have made it 3-0 when she reached Crista Cullen’s cross from the right but her connection was not quite enough to knock the ball over the line from cross range and Reynolds dived to clear.

The second half saw England create several opportunities to wrap up the bronze medal, although Germany themselves had chances to spark a comeback.

A minute into the second half, Germany won the game’s first penalty corner. Captain Fanny Riine was poised at the top of the circle but her low flick came off Crista Cullen’s stick and went wide. The umpire mistook the stick for Cullen’s foot and awarded another penalty corner but England successfully appealed to the video umpire to correct the decision.

Then, on 42 minutes, Stockel drew Beth Storry to the baseline but as the goalkeeper came out Stockel chipped the ball off the back line. And Storry did well again on two separate occasions soon after. First, she closed down Lena Andersch well when the German received the ball alone inside the England circle and she followed that up with a close range block after Germany received an advantage as Fanny Riine and Natascha Keller combined well to enter the circle.

Those three chance apart, England’s defence made it hard for the Germans to break down. At the other end, England had chances to put the game to bed with Leicester pair Crista Cullen and Katie Long both coming close.

Before then, Slough’s 22 year old forward Nicola White beat Tina Bachmann for pace before cutting in and rounding Kristina Reynolds at the penalty spot. But just as she prepared to shoot, Fanny Riine got back to make the tackle.

With 15 minutes remaining, Clifton’s Charlotte Craddock crossed from the right and the sliding Katie Long connected with the ball but could only divert it into the near sideboard. Crista Cullen saw her penalty corner flick saved by Reynolds diving to her right hand side before Alex Danson crashed a crossed through the circle.

Following an earlier green card, Julia Muller saw yellow with just over five minutes remaining for a foul on Katie Long but again Cullen’s flick was saved by Reynolds.

An English win was all but inevitable over the final minutes of the match as they continued to win possession and Germany failed to offer up anything in the way of attacking creativity. When it finally finished, just as two nights previously, there were tears from English players but this time they were tears of joy as England deservedly won their first ever World Cup medal, joining the likes of the Netherlands, Australia, Argentina, China and Germany in the record books.

Referring to England’s success, delighted captain Kate Walsh said afterwards: “I’m so proud to be part of this team and what we have achieved. It’s unbelievable to making history and hopefully we can continue to do so going forward.”

Head Coach Danny Kerry said: “It’s very emotional. There are times when we could play better and I there is more to come from the squad but overall this was a good performance. Germany are a very strong team but we took our chances well and were able to control their threats.

“We’re delighted with bronze and really, if you think about it, we have only lost one game in the tournament if you don’t count the penalty strokes against the Netherlands.”

Helen Richardson ended the tournament as England’s top goal scorer with five goals. Alex Danson and Hannah Macleod finished with two goals while Susie Gilbert and Crista Cullen both scored one each.

There is little time for rest for the team now as they return to the UK to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, which run from 3-14 October.


Visit the official tournament website here: http://www.bdofihworldcup2010.sportcentric.com/vsite/vtrial/page/home/0,11065,5243-202487-219710-48556-309122-custom-item,00.html

The full list of results from the tournament can be found on the attached document or at www.englandhockey.co.uk/womensworldcup

The pool phase tables can be found on the attached document.

Beth Storry (Reading) [GK]
Crista Cullen (Leicester) [Def]
Laura Unsworth (Leicester) [Def]
Kate Walsh (c) (Reading) [Def]
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) [Def/Fwd]
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) [Mid]
Helen Richardson (Reading) [Mid]
Charlotte Craddock (Clifton) [Fwd]
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) [Mid]
Alex Danson (Reading) [Fwd]
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) [Fwd]

Substitutes Used
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury) [Def]
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) [Mid]
Katie Long (Leicester) [Fwd]
Nicola White (Slough) [Fwd]
Kerry Williams (Leicester) [Mid/Fwd]

Did Not Play
Gemma Ible (Clifton) [GK]
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) [Mid]

Credit: Grant Treeby Images/EHB
Caption: As England win the World Cup bronze medal, England goal scorer Helen Richardson (far right) is embraced by Ashleigh Ball (second from left) and Sally Walton (second from right) as Germany’s Eileen Hoffmann slumps to the floor.

Further information:
Lawrence West, EHB PR & Sponsorship Officer, 07525 987283 / 01628 897509

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