|Double Dutch Day as The Netherlands take gold in Dublin|
|Written by ehfnews|
The Netherlands capped off a fantastic week of hockey as they claimed the Electric Ireland EuroHockey Youth Championships U18 title in Dublin with a 1-0 win over rivals Germany, emulating their U21 team who took gold at the Ergo Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach.
Sophie Slinkert struck the all-important goal after two minutes to claim the title. Germany for their part matched the Netherlands throughout but it was to be the team in Orange's day as they held on to claim to the title. Netherlands Maxime Kerstholt was also named top scorer.
In the Bronze medal game, England overcame France after a tense game which also went to the dreaded shootout. France took the lead in the 39th minute through Ines Brabant but England equalised in the 48th through Pascale Massey. Neither team could force the breakthrough thereafter and England prevailed in the shootout to claim the bronze medals.
In today's early action, Pool C was finalised as Belgium confirmed their place at the top of table with a close fought 2-0 win over Wales. Manon Simons & Alice Weicker grabbed the goals late on for Belgium. Both teams celebrated at the final hooter with the teams lining up arm in arm to salute their loyal supporters as Belgium were confirmed as 5th place and Wales in 8th.
The second game was an end to end clash between Ireland and Russia as both teams entered the game on exactly the same points and goal difference with 6th place on the line as well as top Division status. Russia took the lead through Yulia Kasakova in the 7th minute. Ireland fought back well and actually took a 2-1 lead into the half time break first through an OG off a Russian stick and then Robyn Chambers struck to give the 'Little Green Army' the lead. Russia levelled 11 minutes from time to set up a frantic finish in which neither side could find the target. Both sides had to settle for the lottery of the shootout and Russia prevailed 2-1 as both keepers forced a number of shots wide. The result means Ireland finish the tournament in 7th position and will lose their top division status. Russia’s captain Maria Yashchenko meanwhile was named player of the tournament.
In the Bronze medal game, England overcame France after a tense game which also went to a shootout. France took the lead in the 39th minute through Ines Brabant but England equalised in the 48th through Pascale Massey. Neither team could force the breakthrough thereafter and England prevailed in the shootout to claim the bronze medals.
1 Netherlands - EuroHockey U18 Championship 2013 Winner
7 Ireland - Relegated U18 Championship II, 2015
8 Wales - Relegated U18 Championship II, 2015
Source; Irish Hockey
Photograph; Irish Hockey