Hockey: Welsh juniors go down fighting

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The Independent Online
Wales, making their first entry into the European Women's Junior Championship yesterday, put up a courageous performance against Germany, the defending champions, before losing 3-0, writes Bill Colwill from Cardiff. After holding their own for 21 minutes, a defensive lapse allowed Germany's Cornelia Reiter a free run for the opening goal of the game.

Stunned by a penalty stroke conversion three minutes into the second half, Wales fought back before conceding a third goal in the 54th minute, again allowing a German striker, Jennie Schweim, an easy run at goal.

England started their programme with a 5-2 win against the Czech Republic. Purdy Miller and Helen Grant scored twice, with Sarah Blanks, whose speed created all sorts of problems for the Czech defence, completing the scoring. The England captain, Lucy Newcombe, who played with a fractured thumb suffered in practice on Sunday, was happy despite her team letting in two soft goals. "We were very nervous at the start but once we scored we were never going to lose."

Wales today play the Ukraine, who caused a major surprise in beating Spain yesterday. England have a rest day before playing Russia tomorrow.