Ward bags a brace but England lose to Belgium in bronze medal match

Sam Ward had a prolific tournament for England. Photo: Simon Parker

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England’s men’s and women’s teams both finished without medals at the EuroHockey Championships in the Netherlands this week, with the men’s team being edged out 3-2 by Belgium in their bronze medal match at the weekend.

Marlow’s Sam Ward netted twice in the third-place play-off game, and England’s goalkeeper Ollie Payne also pulled off some fine saves, but Tom Boon’s double and another from Thomas Briels secured victory for the world’s number one ranked side.

England’s hopes of reaching the final were ended in a closely fought 3-2 defeat to Germany. Ward, who passed 50 goals for England during the tournament, was on target again but it proved to be a consolation. Maidenhead’s David Ames won his 100th combined GB and England cap in the semi-final.

They may have missed out on a medal, but it was a positive tournament personally for Ward, who also netted a fine hat-trick in a 3-2 win over Spain to cap off three group victories for England. He was selected for his country for the first time since suffering a serious eye injury in 2019.

Having been eliminated in the group stages, England’s women had the consolation of guaranteeing their place at the 2022 Women’s Hockey World Cup after securing victories over Ireland and Scotland.
They came from behind to beat Ireland 5-1 with goals from Sarah Evans (two), Anna Toman, Giselle Ansley and Jo Hunter, and backed that up with a 3-1 win over Scotland in Pool C. Lily Owsley scored twice and Izzy Petter added the other.