England women win Unibet European Championship at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

England women win Unibet European Championship at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

MADDIE HINCH turned to her secret notebook and won the Unibet European Championship for England at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

By
Graham Wilson

Maddie Hinch GETTY

Maddie Hinch helped England beat the Netherlands in a penalty shootout

Goalkeeper Hinch and her brave defence had fended off world and Olympic champions the Netherlands to come back from two goals down with eight minutes to play when Sophie Bray pounced on a penalty corner and Lily Owsley scrambled home an equaliser two minutes later to take the gold medal clash to a shoot-out.

Hinch's notebook has all the details on her opposition and she referred to it on the pitch before going into goal to make three stunning saves to take the title 3-1.

"I am renowned as a bit of a geek on penalties but as soon as it was the shoot-out it was my turn to step up and I knew we had got this," she said. "The gold has been coming a long time but it is the best feeling in the world to do it front of our home crowd.

"It's all about confidence in these situations. The race to Rio is on."

Coach Danny Kerry added: "We were battered by the Dutch for three quarters. Then I asked the team if they believed they could do it, as I did. And they said yes. We needed to dig in and fight back.

"Compared with winning the bronze medal in the London Olympics this was almost as good, especially as its my first gold and on home turf."

Striker Alex Danson was named player of the tournament.

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