The opening day of the boys and girls EuroHockey U18 Championships in Krefeld, Germany started with a bang as Belgium won twice while France and Austria picked up important victories. Here’s a round-up of the action:
Boys EuroHockey U18 Championship (Krefeld)
Belgium 8 Scotland 1
Belgium overcame a strong early Scottish performance to pick up a healthy 8-1 win and start the tournament on the front foot. Antoine Callewaert did open the scoring against the run of play in the 13th minute but the Scots replied with an Alexander Marsland equaliser on a switch.
But once the Belgians forged ahead just before half-time 3-1 via two neat pieces of clean-up work, they did not look back. Larry Fauchey and Charlie Langendries added two more each in the second half along with a Nathan Leeuw effort.
Austria 3 Ireland 1
Austria came from a goal down to record a famous win in this competition, just their second victory in the top division with the last being a 2-1 success over England in 2013.
James Evans’ touch to Mark Cuddy’s shot put Ireland in front but Erik Schiesser equalised from a corner before half-time. Austria had a goal disallowed for backstick in the closing quarter but did make things count in the last six minutes with two in quick succession.
Theodor Morawec volleyed in a great touch following a driving run in the circle; then Benedikt Meisel juggled a bouncing ball brilliantly to score the 3-1.
Girls EuroHockey U18 Championship (Krefeld)
Belgium 3 Scotland 1
Belgium’s girls opened the tournament with a 3-1 win over Scotland, overcoming an early setback to make their mark. Caterina Nelli stole possession and slipped home a great backhand finish for a fourth minute lead.
But the Belgians stayed composed after a missed stroke to draw level from a 21st minute corner from Hélène Delva’s corner deflection. Maxine Bertram broke free on the left and, on her backhand, swept in the crucial goal for 2-1 with 11 minutes left.
And the game was safe when Lisa Moors corner drag-flick had too much power for the post defender.
France 3 Ireland 1
France got off to a flying start as the promoted side saw off Ireland 3-1 in Krefeld thanks to goals from Philippine Delemazure, Paola Le Nindre and Emilie Samaté.
Ireland did go close through Mikayla Power in the opening phases but they were rocked when Delemazure smashed a head-high rocket past Charlie Bowman in the 10th minute.
They soaked up a lot of pressure after that but also picked off corner chances when they came and duly killed off the game with five minutes left, Le Nindre scoring a corner drag-flick. In last minute, Samaté touched into an unguarded goal for 3-0 before Milla Fulton pulled a consolation goal back.
Get your U18’s LIVESTREAM PASS HERE: https://www.eurohockeytv.org/en-int/page/event-pass-u18-championships
Boys’ match schedule here: https://eurohockey.altiusrt.com/competitions/316/matches
Girls’ match schedule here: https://eurohockey.altiusrt.com/competitions/317/matches