Hockey: Germany hold on to their title

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GERMANY, the women's world under-21 champions, retained their European title at Cramond, near Edinburgh, beating the Netherlands 2-1 in Saturday's final. Stefanie Vrauss, their sweeper, converted a penalty stroke 14 seconds from time after Julia Backhaus had put them level following a penalty-corner strike by Ageeth Boomgaardt.

It was a close game for the Germans, who had lost an earlier pool match against the Netherlands by the same score and had reached the final by beating Spain on penalties after drawing 1-1.

England lost the bronze medal match against Spain 3-1, the teams having drawn 0-0 in an earlier match. They will take comfort from having qualified for next year's World Cup in Terrassa, along with the Netherlands and Scotland. Germany, as holders, and Spain, as hosts, had already qualified.

The Spanish right-winger Victora Laphyra completed a hat- trick before Jo Green scored a late goal for England who, as in the semi-final against the Netherlands, were by no means outplayed.

Scotland secured their place in Terrassa by coming from behind to beat Ireland 2-1 in the fifth place match. Rhona Simpson, the tournament's leading scorer, was on target twice after Kirsty Bonar had put Ireland ahead.