Danson strike seals series win over Netherlands

Alex Danson celebrates scoring for Great Britain

Netherlands 1 (1)
Eva de Goede 13 (PS)


Great Britain 1 (0)
Alex Danson 57 (FG)


Alex Danson’s 90th international goal handed Great Britain a 1-1 draw in the second and final test match of the series with the Netherlands. The No15 struck with just three minutes left on the clock to cancel out Eva de Goede’s early penalty stroke. After their win in the first match and the draw tonight, Danny Kerry’s side take the series 1-0, striking a psychological blow to one of their rivals before the Hockey Champions Trophy in London later this month.

The Netherlands started the match brightly and Maddie Hinch was forced into action making a good smothering save in the fifth minute. The Dutch soon forced a penalty corner but Lily Owsley was out like lightning to charge it down. At the other end a lovely aerial pass from Giselle Ansley freed Susannah Townsend who set up Sophie Bray; but her shot was well saved by Anne Veenendaal in the Dutch goal. The hosts won their second penalty corner after eleven minutes. The shot hit Helen Richardson-Walsh and a penalty stroke was awarded. De Goede stepped up and scored to make it 1-0 at quarter time.  

Kirsty Mackay entered the fray for the second period, taking the place of Hinch in goal. As it began to rain heavily the goalkeeper made her first contribution with a good save near the baseline.   

Great Britain then built up a period of sustained pressure, winning a penalty corner on 22 minutes. However Ansley’s shot was well saved by the goalkeeper. Sam Quek, making her 100th international appearance linked well with Hannah Macleod to force a second penalty corner in the 26th minute; but Danny Kerry’s side could not convert the chance. At the other end, Mackay was called into action again, making a fine double save. Great Britain had enjoyed the lion’s share of the pressure but it was 1-0 to the Dutch at the interval. 

The visitors continued their attacking momentum in the third quarter. Crista Cullen won a penalty corner in the 33rd minute but two splendid saves by goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek, a half time replacement for Veenendaal kept it out. Another corner chance went begging in the 37th minute and the lead remained intact going into the final quarter.

Great Britain continued to hunt the equaliser in the closing 15 minutes. The dying moments of the match were end-to-end with both sides looking dangerous. As the clock ticked down, Townsend and Owsley combined, with the latter driving into the circle to set up Danson to equalise. Mackay was called upon to thwart a late Dutch attack but there was to be no further score and it finished 1-1. 

Danny Kerry, Head Coach said afterwards:
“I’m very pleased with today’s performance. I felt we had the balance of play, particularly in the second half. I’m very proud of how the girls have been on the front foot in both matches despite it being an anxious time around selection for the Champions Trophy and Olympics. I feel we can come away from the two matches feeling very positive and we know that we still have good growth to come.”

Don't forget, both these sides will be taking to the field later in June to compete for the title of the best of the best in the Hockey Champions Trophy. Event information can be found here.

Starting XI vs. Netherlands

Name

Club

Maddie Hinch

Holcombe

Emily Maguire

Holcombe

Laura Unsworth

East Grinstead

Kate Richardson-Walsh

Reading

Sam Quek

Holcombe

Alex Danson

Reading

Sophie Bray

East Grinstead

Hollie Webb

Surbiton

Shona McCallin

Holcombe

Lily Owsley

University of Birmingham

Nicola White

Holcombe

 

Substitutes used:

 

Hannah Macleod

St Albans

Georgie Twigg

Surbiton

Helen Richardson-Walsh

Reading

Susannah Townsend

Canterbury

Giselle Ansley

Surbiton

Crista Cullen

No Club

Kirsty Mackay

East Grinstead