Maidenhead's Rayer scores as England come close to double over Dutch

Maidenhead's Ellie Rayer scored the goal which gave England hope of completing an FIH Pro League double over the Netherlands on Sunday, but the Dutch fought back for a 2-1 victory.

Maidonians Maddie Hinch, Giselle Ansley, Shona McCallin and Rayer all played their part in a magnificent 3-1 win over the Netherlands on Saturday, the country's first in regulation time since 2003.

Hinch also celebrated her 100th cap for England in the victory.

Anna Toman, Izzy Petter and Grace Balsdon grabbed the goals against their experienced visitors, however, the Dutch rallied well on Sunday after conceding to Rayer's emphatic early finish.

Her goal gave England a crucial advantage at the halfway stage at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre, but two penalty corners in four minutes from Ireen van den Assem and Tessa Clasener secured the win.

England's women sit fifth in the Pro League table ahead of their matches with Belgium in two weeks’ time.

England's men also played a double header against the Dutch this weekend but found things much more difficult against Oranje Hockey.

Having conceded two early goals in Saturday's 3-0 defeat, Sunday's game followed a similar pattern, despite the best efforts of Marlow's Sam Ward.

The Netherlands eventually ran out emphatic 6-3 winners to move top of the Pro League table with two games in hand on second-placed India. The men also face Belgium in a fortnight’s time.

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