Janneke Schopman 61 (PC)

Hannah Macleod 56 (F)

*Netherlands win 4-3 after penalty strokes

A brave, exciting and hugely patriotic performance saw England push the reigning champions and world’s number one side the Netherlands all the way in the first semi final of the BDO FIH World Cup. After a 1-1 draw, it took a nerve-shredding penalty shoot out to separate the sides, with the Dutch squeezing their way into the Final after winning the shoot out 4-3.

Leicester’s Hannah Macleod gave England the lead in the 56th minute but five minutes later the Netherlands levelled through captain Janneke Schopman’s penalty corner deflection. With the sides level after a compelling 70 minutes the match went to golden goal extra time. Chances came and went at both ends, notably Dutchwoman Kim Lammers’ miss in front of an empty goal and Alex Danson and Hananh Macleod’s efforts late on, but neither side could break the deadlock and it went to penalties.

Level after two flicks each, England’s captain Kate Walsh was left in tears after Joyce Sombroek saved her effort and Maartje Goderie edged the Dutch ahead from the next penalty. 19 year old Charlotte Craddock missed England’s fourth but goalkeeper Beth Storry, outstanding throughout, pulled off an acrobatic save from Lidewij Welten to keep England in the hunt. Chloe Rogers squeezed her effort home to keep the pressure on the Netherlands, whose winner came from Kim Lammers, although she was fortunate to score after Beth Storry got her stick to the shot but narrowly failed to keep it out.

Afterwards, Head Coach Danny Kerry had nothing but praise for his team: “We’ve got a team of 18 players out there who are absolutely gutted. They put their heart and soul into it and we couldn’t be more proud of them!”

Kerry and his coaching team will now prepare England the bronze medal playoff, where England will attempt to record a highest ever World Cup finish of third. That match gets underway at 20:30 BST on Saturday.

Before the match, many observers would have written England off on the sheer balance of history alone. Their last victory over the Netherlands came seven years ago while the Dutch had never lost to England in six World Cup encounters. The Netherlands’ experience of big matches is vast, having successfully won the Olympic Games final, the World Cup final and the European final in the past four years. It was England’s second ever World Cup semi final and their first in 20 years, compared to the Netherlands’ 11th World Cup semi, of which they had won nine before the match.

England were boosted by the return of Hannah Macleod, the Leicester forward having sat out Monday’s final pool match against Argentina. Katie Long and Gemma Ible were England’s non-playing athletes in the stand.

The Netherlands enjoyed the best of the early possession but England’s Laura Unsworth and Helen Richardson defended calmly, restricting the Dutch to forays up the channel in the opening five minutes.

Much of the defending champions’ success in the tournament to date has come as a result of the penalty corner prowess of Maartje Paumen and the 24 year old had three corner efforts in the opening quarter of an hour. From the first, Leicester defender Crista Cullen was out quickly to block at the top of the circle, a feat she repeated soon after at the second corner, with the ball hitting her foot. From the resulting corner Paumen connected well, avoiding Cullen’s charge, but Reading goalkeeper Beth Storry threw herself to her right to deflect the ball to safety.

Between corners, Marilyn Agliotti found herself with the ball on the penalty spot but Kate Walsh made a fine challenge to deflect her effort wide of the target.

In the 16th minute, Alex Danson showed good skills coming in from the right but she was tackled inside the 23 metre area. Midway through the half, two cards in as many minutes for Dutch players, a green for World Player of the Year Naomi van As and yellow for Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel, handed England a numerical advantage and they came close to capitalising when Hannah Macleod threw herself at Charlotte Craddock’s cross from the right but failed to connect.

England enjoyed a spell of possession before the Netherlands were restored to their full compliment following which Paumen had two more sights of goal; the first, a reverse stick shot from the edge of the circle, was kicked back out by Storry and she was on hand again saving high to her right from the Netherlands’ fourth corner.

At the other end, with just over five minutes to half time, Chloe Rogers went past the Netherlands’ veteran captain Janneke Schopman inside the circle. Attempting the tackle, Schopman fouled Rogers and England had a penalty corner. Unfortunately for England, the routine did not go to plan but encouragingly it took several attempts for the Dutch’ defence to clear the danger.

The Netherlands began the second period as they had the first with Ellen Hoog breaking down the left and along the baseline but her cutback was intercepted by the English defence.

Five minutes into the second half, Slough’s Ashleigh Ball found herself up against a wall of orange as she tried to penetrate the Dutch circle from the left hand side. The 24 year old midfielder managed to force the ball through towards Hannah Macleod, who was standing on the penalty spot, but Macleod was eased off it as she tried to control.

Beth Storry was called into action after Ellen Hoog and Lidewij Welten combined well along the English baseline; Welten’s effort towards the back post was well cut out by Storry with her outstretched left leg and she reacted quickly to block the follow up after the ball rebounded to Welten.

With just over 20 minutes remaining both sides lost players to suspensions; the Netherlands’ Agliotti was green carded for not retreating five metres before England lost captain Walsh for a stick tackle. And with Walsh off the pitch England survived a scare. Lying on the ground in front of her post, Beth Storry made several saves with body and stick before the Netherlands forced the ball towards goal. Crista Cullen though was well positioned to knock the ball out, the bouncing clearance eluding four waiting Dutch forwards.

With quarter of an hour remaining, Hannah Macleod shocked the World Champions with an excellently taken goal, set up by Crista Cullen. Playing higher up the pitch, Cullen fired a powerful low cross into the circle and Macleod timed her intervention perfectly, sliding in to deflect beyond Joyce Sombroek to give England the lead and put them within touching distance of the World Cup final.

The lead was short lived though as the Netherlands hit back almost immediately through their retiring captain Janneke Schopman, who dived in bravely to deflect the ball up into the net from Maartje Paumen’s penalty corner effort, leaving Beth Storry with no chance.

Despite the setback, England refused to wilt and as time sped on they contested every ball in the midfield, preventing the Dutch from gaining meaningful possession and setting up an opportunity with just two minutes remaining. Clifton youngster Charlotte Craddock, excellent on the right, flashed another cross into the circle where Leicester’s Kerry Williams was lurking. Under pressure, Williams connected but could not direct a deflection and the Netherlands survived the scare.

Breaking upfield, the Dutch pressed hard, desperate to score what would certainly be a winning goal. They thought they had one final chance when they were awarded a penalty corner with less than one minute remaining. The umpire signalled that the ball had come off the foot of Georgie Twigg but Kate Walsh appealed the decision to the video umpire. After several views of the replay, Soledad Iparraguerre ruled that Twigg had successfully kept her foot out of the way and the decision was reversed. Dutch captain Schopman was incensed, arguing for a referral of her own but with the rules stipulating you cannot refer a decision already referred to the video umpire, the Netherlands did not get their review.

Following a bully to restart play the clock hit 70 minutes and the game went to golden goal extra time.

There was a ‘hearts in mouth’ moment for England just a minute into the first 7.5 minute period when Kim Lammers flashed her stick at the ball with the unguarded goal gaping but somehow she failed to connect and England survived.

With the next goal the winner, both sides were intent on playing attacking hockey and Alex Danson did well along the right baseline before cutting the ball back into dangerous territory but the Dutch defence was on hand to mop up.

The Netherlands’ Welten was shown a yellow card five minutes into the period and she served her five minute suspension with two and half minutes on either side of the half time break.

Two minutes into the second period of extra time England’s Danson unleashed a reverse stick effort from the top of the circle. Goalkeeper Sombroek blocked the shot with her left foot but failed to adequately clear. Following up, Hannah Macleod robbed the covering Schopman but Sombroek recovered to stand up to Macleod’s effort.

With just three minutes remaining, Beth Storry pulled off yet another outstanding double save low in front of her near post, thwarting Player of the Year van As before the umpire’s whistle sounded.

With seconds until penalties England had one final chance to cross into the circle but the Netherlands’ defender stepped in front to clear, sending the World Cup semi final to a penalty strokes competition.

The pressure was on but two of England’s most experienced players, Helen Richardson and Crista Cullen, successfully converted the first two English penalties. Paumen and Schopman did the same to make it two apiece after two penalties each. England’s third taker was captain Kate Walsh. Her effort to Sombroek’s right was saved by the goalkeeper, leaving the Reading defender in tears as she returned to her teammates on halfway. Despite Storry getting a stick to Maartje Goderie’s effort the Dutch took a 3-2 lead. Bravely, 19 year old Charlotte Craddock was England’s number four but Britain’s youngest ever Olympic hockey player had her shot saved. Lidewij Welten stepped up to put the Dutch in the final but Storry pulled off an acrobatic save to her right to give England a lifeline. Leicester’s Chloe Rogers squeezed her penalty through the goalkeeper’s pads and the tension grew as Kim Lammers stepped up for the fifth Dutch penalty. To the relief of the champions and devastation of England, Lammers scored, although she was fortunate to see her shot hit the net after Storry reached it with her stick but could not prevent the goal.

After watching his side’s terrific performance, Head Coach Danny Kerry had only praise for his young team: “We’ve got a team of 18 players out there who are absolutely gutted. They put their heart and soul into it and we couldn’t be more proud of them!

“Kate’s gutted and Charlotte’s inconsolable just now but we’ve still got a medal to win. It’s our job to get the girls up for that match. Rankings count for nothing in these games.”

Such was the manner of England’s performance that the Argentinean crowd gave them a standing ovation as they lapped the pitch during their cool down.

England will now contest the playoff for a World Cup bronze medal. That match, against the loser of Argentina versus Germany, takes place at 20:30 UK time on Saturday.


Visit the official tournament website here:,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

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]
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) [Mid]
Alex Danson (Reading) [Fwd]
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) [Fwd]
Nicola White (Slough) [Fwd]

Substitutes Used
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury) [Def]
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) [Mid]
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) [Mid]
Charlotte Craddock (Clifton) [Fwd]
Kerry Williams (Leicester) [Mid/Fwd]

Did Not Play
Gemma Ible (Clifton) [GK]
Katie Long (Leicester) [Fwd]

Credit: Grant Treeby Images/EHB
Caption: England captain Kate Walsh is consoled by goal scorer Hannah Macleod and Head Coach Danny Kerry after England’s defeat on penalties in the BDO FIH World Cup semi final

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