England show strength to come through against Wales


England saw off a resilient Wales to continue the winning streak at the European Championship recording an 11-6 win.

It was a one goal game with less than 20 minutes to play, but the ability to keep the energy levels high and composure at crucial moments saw the side pull away.

Both teams went into the match with 3-0 records, with the winner likely to book their place as the #1 seed for the semi-finals.

And it was Wales who started the brightest, going ahead inside a minute, and was nearly 10 minutes later that England would finally register.

Claire Faram and Jenny Simpson scored within a minute of each other for a quick turnaround, but a brace from Sophy Coombes-Roberts either side of the ¼ time put Wales up once again.

Match ups against Wales are always hard-fought games, and as it went on, England began to win more of those important battles.

Whittle and Alex Drewe both earned free positions from which they were clinical, and Simpson was first to a ground ball to grab a goal, helping England to a 5-3 half-time lead.

Whittle was able to add another just after the restart, before Wales began a spell of dominance that put England under real pressure. 

Two goals closed the gap to 6-5, and with Wales in the ascendency, Lucy Grant pulled off a blinding point-blank save to halt the advance and break Wales’ possession.

Grant finished the game with 9 saves and was dependable throughout, pulling off saves at multiple important moments; and when Faram her second two minutes later, it seemed England had seen off the comeback.

It was then time for Megan Whittle to take the game by the horns and put England out of sight.

With Whittle’s coaching commitments in the US, she has had little time to actually play, let alone with the team, and Head Coach, Phil Collier, remarked that it would take a couple of games before we saw her at full throttle.

And this was indeed more evidence that her influence is continuing to grow, as she picked up two more goals and an eye-catching assist to Simpson to seal the game for England.

There was still time for the sides to swap free position goals, Drewe doubling her tally for the game and rounding off the scoring.

England (4-0) play Scotland (1-3) in the final pool stage game on Sunday at 3.20pm UK Time, with a win guaranteeing #1 seed for the semi-final.

England Points: Megan Whittle (4,2), Jenny Simpson (3,1), Claire Faram (2,0), Alex Drewe (2,0), Lucy Lynch (0,1)