Report by Ben Berndes-Cade
England win 4-3
Tensions were high as the national anthems were broadcasted throughout the Hockey Centre, England loud and proud with Ukraine equally loud with a slight bit of confusion…
Nevertheless the game was underway and Ukraine were out of the gates early, rattling the English defence early in the first quarter of the match. The passes from England were sloppy and lacklustre, opportunities which the Ukrainians such as Mike Collins and Lucca Bilyard pounced on. This early dominance resulted in a decisive cross in front of goal with Hamish Patel picking up the scraps to slide the ball past Veysal Demir’s feet.
Ukraine were on top for the majority of the first quarter, with Michelle Joubert and Ella Duthie causing problems down England’s right wing while Rob Gill and Harry Haynes controlled the game from the middle. England however, recouped at the first quarter and looked more decisive by the second quarter.
England settled and endured the bombardment from the Ukrainians in the second quarter, thanks to the excellent defensive work from David James and Johanna Berndes, which left the game at 1-0 by the 3rd quarter. England grew more confident as the game went on and proved extremely clinical upfront, Todd Lomas scoring his classic Middle-left drag flick from a short corner and a vicious strike from Ben Berndes-Cade after a rebounded drag flick cam into his path. Not to say that the Ukrainian keeper was beaten often, Victoria Bishop-Laggett had some amazing and crucial saves to keep the Ukrainians in the game for the 3rd and 4th quarter.
Ukraine wasn’t done however, as thanks to 2 Yellow Cards, dished out by Richard Bishop-Laggett and kindly given to Lewis Hollett-for his talent and ability to annoy umpires- and Ben Berndes-Cade-for a woeful slide tackle on Rob Gill-Ukraine managed to get a goal back through Hamish Patel once again getting the better of Veysel Demir, with sleek Hockey from the Ukraine’s to even it out just before the 4rd quarter, making it 2-2.
The Final quarter saw both teams battling it out, with England having more possession based spells, but Ukraine having a blisteringly swift counter-attack to use whenever England lost control. England managed to get 2 more short corners where Todd Lomas slipped another past the Ukrainian defence and Deborah James stood up to the challenge and slotted in one of her own, going to the bottom right corner where postman-Will Hargrove was unable to prevent her accurate flick.
The score 4-2, Ukraine didn’t give up, fighting for goals they set their eyes on getting their own back with their own short corner, but time was blown and the outcome of the match was sealed, it was up to the effectiveness of the Ukrainian Short corner to see if they could salvage a consolation goal-yes- but a passionate one at that. Alessandro Onano injecting it out to the coiled spring that was Rob Gill, unleashing a mighty drag flick that shot through to the top left corner. Both Veysel Demir and Lewis Hollett attempted to parry the shot, but only managed a weak stick that powered through to the top netting.
The game ended 4-3 with both teams giving it their all.