England claim memorable one-goal victory over Australia


England completed a superb 10-9 win against old rivals Australia in their final Pool Game at the U19 World Championship.

Hannah Thurston scored the game winner with 5:00 to play as England came from behind to seal a massive win and 3rd place in the pool.

Both sides came into the game 0-2 after defeats against USA and Canada, and in search of a morale boosting first win.

And it was Australia who set the early pace; Despite Anna Saunter cancelling out the Aussie’s opener, a three-goal blitz, primarily from some accurate free position shooting, had Australia 4-1 up after 10 minutes.

However, a Milly Home brace just before the ¼ time shifted the momentum, lifting England and setting up the match for another three quarters of tense, end-to-end action.

Georgie Southorn, England’s top scorer at the Championship, then tied the game up again only for Australia to take advantage of two more free positions to restore their adavantage.

But England remained resolute and continued to fight back, Lucy Devine keeping her composure after receiving a feed from Bowater with her back to goal, and firing in on the turn to make it 5-6 at the half.

England were first out of the blocks after the break, levelling it up through Georgie Southorn.

Both sides then swapped efforts, Southorn claiming another, while Livy Schellekens, who would finish as game MVP, made a number of saves to repel Australia at important times.

England then made a run for home, taking the lead for the first time, Bella Streule picking out Bowater's feed and shooting home on the turn.

But with the back and forth nature, Latch tied it up at the end of Q3, before firing Australia back ahead to make it 9-8.

However, England heads didn't drop and a composed attack finished with Cece Green stepping up round the crease to tie it up.

And then Thurston scored what would turn out to be the game winner. She drove aggressively to goal, drawing a free position and duly planting it into the bottom corner.

After Thurston’s goal, Green put in a huge hustle to collect the draw control, and with 4:00 still left in the game, England were determined not to let them back into the game. 

 The attack controlled the game with maturity and skill holding the ball in the offensive end and denying Australia any attempt to double and dispossess the ball.

 With just 00:10 on the clock, Bowater did eventually spill the ball, sparking a mad rush downfield but the defence forced the attacker wide and into a hail-mary pass that Charlie Wilson swatted out of the air to close the game.

England now has a Last 16 encounter on Tuesday at 2pm UK against China

England Points: Georgie Southorn (3,1), Milly Home (2,1), Bella Bowater (0,2), Anna Saunter (1,0), Bella Streule (1,0), Lucy Devine (1,0), Hannah Thurston (1,0)