Hockey: England go down to dogged Germans

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ENGLAND'S HOPES of winning their group and avoiding the Netherlands in the semi-finals were dashed when they lost 2-1 against Germany in the European Women's Championship here yesterday, writes Bill Colwill from Cologne.

England made a great start when Jane Sixsmith finished off a third-minute move initiated by Kate Walsh and involving Lucilla Wright and Tina Cullen. But they could not press home their advantage, failing to score from three penalty corners. Germany gradually took control and the Hightown goalkeeper Carolyn Reid was had to pull of a couple of fine saves.

In the 56th minute Fanny Rinne found the net from a switched penalty corner to level the scores and 11 minutes later, Nadine Ernsting-Krienke swept in the winner from her team's fifth penalty corner. England's coach Maggie Souyave said she was very disappointed and that her players had struggled in 30-degree temperatures.

"It was a good first half but we needed to get a second goal and were punished for silly mistakes," said Souyave. "We lost our way, lost the initiative and didn't take our chances."

ENGLAND: C Reid (Hightown); M Nicholson (Slough), M Clewlow (Canterbury), F Greenham (Slough), K Walsh (Hightown); J Smith (Slough), S Chandler (Slough), K Brown (Slough, capt); J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), L Wright (Olton), T Cullen (Hightown). Substitutes used: K Bowden (Fyffes Leicester), A Bennett (Slough), L Catchpole (Ipswich).

Germany: J Zwehi; S Grasser; F Barth, F Gude, M Roldewald; F Rinne,B Becker, K Kauschke Capt.; H Latzsch, N Keller, N Ernsting-Krienke. Substitutes used: M Cremer, C Reiter, P Suxdorf, C Casaretto.

Umpires: J Buchanan (SA) and M Power (Ire).