ENGLAND’S BRILLIANT BRONZE
England Results Service, Samsung FIH Champions Trophy 2010
Sunday 18 July 2010
Bronze Medal Playoff
ENGLAND 2 (0)
Susie Gilbert 43 (PC)
Crista Cullen 51 (PC)
GERMANY 1 (1)
Maike Stockel 9 (F)
England’s women won their first ever Champions Trophy medal on Sunday afternoon as they did the double over Germany in the bronze medal match in Nottingham. Second half goals from Susie Gilbert and Crista Cullen cancelled out Maike Stockel’s first half strike to put England on the third step of the podium in a game that England dominated and fully deserved to win.
Before the start of the match, there was a short presentation to Reading and England’s Beth Storry, who made her 50th appearance in goal for England. There was also recognition for Germany’s Natascha Keller who picked up her 360th cap, making her the most capped player in her country’s history.
For England, the match was unchartered territory. In the 23 years of the Champions Trophy, England had never before contested the bronze medal match and even as Great Britain, there had only been one such occasion, in 1989, when they lost to the former West Germany. For their part, Germany came into the match having previously picked up a Champions Trophy medal on ten occasions.
In contrast to their start against New Zealand a day before, England began competitively with Kerry Williams getting in behind inside a minute and Crista Cullen crashing a cross through the circle on three minutes.
A miss-trap at a fifth minute penalty corner was a missed opportunity for the English as Leicester’s Cullen had to adjust quickly, shooting wide on her reverse.
Despite the good start England fell behind nine minutes in. German captain Tina Bachmann found Eileen Hoffmann in the English circle and Hoffman’s flick-on sat up perfectly for Maike Stockel to volley home past Storry at chest height for 1-0.
Germany had gone into the match still seething from their perceived injustice over a disallowed goal in Tuesday’s pool match and following the goal they upped the ante. Mandy Haase swung and missed at a first time shot and seconds later Reading goalkeeper Storry made a good save with her glove while lying on the floor following the initial block.
Midway through the half good play down the right hand side almost let Leicester’s Laura Unsworth in but the umpire blew for an infringement, releasing the pressure on the German defence.
Slough’s Nicola White, a goal scorer against New Zealand on Friday, nearly unlocked the Germany back line for Clifton’s Charlotte Craddock on 20 minutes but goalkeeper Barbara Vogel was out to clear the danger.
With England playing well there was a let off for Germany soon after when White’s diving deflection came back off the post to groans from the home crowd.
Just before the half hour mark Nic White latched on to Alex Danson’s pass down the right. Coming under pressure from Bachmann she refused to be outmuscled and the umpire awarded England their second penalty corner. Cullen’s effort was on target but Vogel got down smartly to her right.
Germany’s Lena Andersch was shown a yellow card with just over three minutes of the first half remaining at a time when England were pressing hard for an equaliser.
Helen Richardson won England a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the half and she very nearly scored it as she deflected Cullen’s effort in front of goal but Vogel got a leg to it, sending it high over the bar.
England began the second half as they had ended the first, putting Germany under pressure and winning a penalty corner. Cullen opted to flick low to the right and Vogel again made the save but the ball bounced off her pads and onto the foot of the defender for a penalty corner. Yet another foot in a crowded circle was spotted by the umpire and England had a third consecutive set piece. This time Cullen went straight. Vogel could only knock the ball up into the air and University of Birmingham’s Susie Gilbert was on hand to volley home England’s equaliser from a metre out.
Alex Danson immediately threatened again, holding off the attentions of her marker before unleashing a shot that the goalkeeper got the smallest of touches to, taking it beyond the back post.
At the other end, a square pass from Andersch was met by the run of Lina Geyer and Beth Storry had to react quickly to save at her feet as she entered the circle.
The save was to prove crucial as England took the lead just two minutes later via a Crista Cullen penalty corner strike that went through the legs of Vogel in the German goal.
Maike Stockel saw green for ‘chat’ with just under 20 minutes remaining and England came close to making their numerical advantage count when Alex Danson robbed her opponent before teeing up Charlotte Craddock. Craddock’s shot on the reverse was on target but Vogel kept it out.
A marauding Cullen run through the middle had the crowd on their feet and she picked out White whose powerful shot was again saved. Another penalty corner came with 12 minutes to go as Tina Bachmann brought down an aerial pass well above shoulder height and Cullen again tested the goalkeeper from the set piece.
In contrast, it took nearly an hour for Germany to be awarded their first ‘corner’. The umpire awarded it for the ball being raised dangerously off the stick of England captain Kate Walsh, who referred the decision to the video umpire. Following a lengthy delay Elena Eskina declared the decision incorrect and Germany once again lost out on a team referral to the third umpire.
Five minutes from time Germany’s newly most capped player, Natascha Keller, broke between Kate Walsh and Helen Richardson in the middle of the park and ran at the English back line at pace. Drawing Bowdon’s Sally Walton she switched the ball to a teammate in the left channel who promptly returned it across goal with Keller diving in. She failed to make contract but Janne Muller-Wieland looked certain to equalise at the back post. Somehow, she did not. She made contact with the ball from her dive but could only steer it into the side of the goal.
England’s lead remained intact.
As the match entered its final minutes, England organised themselves well with Leicester’s Chloe Rogers Germany’s Frustratror-in-Chief. At the final hooter, England’s players turned to each other in celebration before proceeding on a lap of honour with a giant England flag flowing behind them.
Delighted Head Coach Danny Kerry said of his team’s success: “It was an awesome response after yesterday. I thought there was only one team in it; although we lost a scrappy goal, it was only a matter of time before we scored.
“To be that convincing today was very rewarding for all of the time and energy the girls have put in.”
England captain Kate Walsh added: “This is fantastic and with other athletes coming into the squad we can only get better.”
Earlier in the day New Zealand came from behind to defeat China 4-3 in the battle for fifth. England now head off to prepare for the BDO World Cup in Rosario, Argentina, which runs from 29 August – 11 September.
England Squad v Germany
Beth Storry (Reading) Goalkeeper
Crista Cullen (Leicester) Defender
Kate Walsh (c) (Reading) Defender
Laura Unsworth (Leicester) Defender
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury) Defender
Helen Richardson (Leicester) Midfielder
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) Midfielder
Alex Danson (Reading) Forward
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) Defender/Midfielder
Charlotte Craddock (Clifton) Forward
Kerry Williams (Leicester) Midfielder/Forward
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) Midfielder
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) Midfielder
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) Forward
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) Defender/Midfielder/Forward
Nicola White (Slough) Forward
Did Not Play
Gemma Ible (Clifton) Goalkeeper
Katie Long (Leicester) Forward
Samsung FIH Champions Trophy, Women, Nottingham 2010 Final Standings
1. Argentina OR Netherlands
2. Argentina OR Netherlands
5. New Zealand
Rights Free Photography
Attached: Helen Richardson draped in an England flag after England’s bronze medal victory over Germany. Credit: Ady Kerry/EHB
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