Source: Frank Uijlenbroek

England come from behind to stun Germany

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Darcy Bourne’s double helped England twice come from behind to stun Germany 4-3 in the FIH Pro League.

Hannah Gablac gave the hosts the lead in Monchengladbach after 25 minutes but Grace Balsdon replied 35 seconds later.

Nike Lorenz’s penalty stroke restored Germany’s advantage before Bourne and the returning Tess Howard put England ahead.

Germany captain Sonja Zimmermann made it 3-3 but Bourne deflected the winner home four minutes from the end to give England the spoils in a seven-goal thriller, with both sides set to do it all again tomorrow.

Germany began the first quarter brighter with skipper Zimmermann having her effort blocked on the line after just four minutes.

The home side continued to press and again came close four minutes later when Katharina Kiefer’s deflection looped over the bar.

England started to wrestle their way back into the match but Bourne’s best effort two minutes from the end of the first 15 minutes was well saved.

The topsy turvy clash continued at frenetic pace in the second quarter with England looking the most likely to break the deadlock.

However, Hollie Pearne-Webb’s effort from a penalty corner drifted just wide before Howard – in her first international game for more than a year after a serious knee injury – struck the post.

The match exploded into life in the 25th minute when Gablac finished well, the goal standing after a lengthy video review to see if the ball had gone out of the field of play in the build-up.

Incredibly, just over half-a-minute later, Balsdon offered the perfect riposte when she deflected home.

But it was Germany who took a one-goal advantage into the third quarter after Miriam Pritchard fouled Kiefer and Lorenz made no mistake from the spot.

England swung momentum back their way again as Bourne struck just three minutes into the third quarter at SparkassenPark.

And David Ralph’s side made a similarly emphatic start to the final 15 minutes with Howard, back in the side after 386 days out with an ACL injury, lashing home an emotional and superb strike.

But the lead lasted just four minutes as captain Zimmermann made the most of a penalty corner to score her 14th international goal and draw her side level, setting up a grandstand finale.

It was left to Bourne to settle the game after she cleverly opened the face of her stick to deflect the ball home in the 56th minute, with England hanging on to secure the win after a breathless hour of high-quality hockey.

With thanks to England Hockey