Talented Havant duo miss out on medal with England

Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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It was heartache for Havant duo Ollie Nail and Charlie Stubbings as England agonisingly missed out on a bronze medal at the EuroHockey under-18s championship.

Nail started the final match of England’s campaign in the Austrian capital Vienna, while Stubbings was on the bench.

It was a dramatic contest, with the Netherlands striking in the final minute to seal a 3-2 win.

Earlier, Nail was the architect of England’s second equaliser to level the match at 2-2.

James Albery found Nail at the top of the circle, and he carried the ball strongly.

But as he tried to round the keeper he was taken out and a penalty stroke was awarded, which Albery converted.

England head coach Jody Paul was impressed with the fighting quality of his team.

He said: ‘I’m very proud of the way the team battled until the end in very difficult conditions.

‘The team were completely committed to the cause and we’re obviously bitterly disappointed to lose in such fashion.

‘For some of these players this will be their last opportunity to play in this age group and, through the course of the programme, they have shown a willingness to learn and improve and to challenge themselves, and are much better players for it.’