Havant duo impress as England strike silver

England under-18 stars Ben Mackey, left, and Daniel Faulkner, right
England under-18 stars Ben Mackey, left, and Daniel Faulkner, right
fareham's James Evans, right. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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RISING hockey stars Daniel Faulkner and Ben Mackey helped England under-18s scoop silver in the annual 4 Nations Tournament.

Taking on three of the best junior sides in Europe at Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire, the Havant Hockey Club duo played key roles as the host nation secured a second-placed finish.

That underlined the strides both Faulkner, from Fareham, and Portsmouth’s Mackey have continued to make.

The youngsters, who are both students at Havant College, featured in England’s opening match against Spain.

The home side took an early advantage and continued to build on this to open up a 4-0 lead, leaving Spain’s late strike as a mere consolation.

With Germany and Holland drawing 2-2, that result left England top of the table at the end of the first day.

England’s next game was against Germany.

Mackey and Faulkner’s team took an early lead before the match went to 3-3.

But with just two minutes to go, England scored the winner to triumph and book their place in the final with a day to spare.

With little pressure on the game the next day against Holland, England took their foot off the gas and were punished 4-0.

The Dutch moved into the final as a result. Again, England took an early lead but – like the Germany match – the game eventually went to 3-3.

Holland then scored a breakaway goal to edge ahead. And in a desperate effort to respond, England substituted their goalkeeper and were punished by conceding another two as the Dutch bagged a 6-4 win.

England could still be proud of their efforts as Faulkner and Mackey returned with a silver medal.

Mackey has now been called up to represent the England under-21 team following his performances at Lilleshall.