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EuroHockey: England 2 Scotland 0

PUBLISHED: 14:43 22 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:43 22 August 2017

Lily Owsley celebrates (pic Frank Uijlenbroek/England Hockey)

Lily Owsley celebrates (pic Frank Uijlenbroek/England Hockey)

WSP/Frank Uijlenbroek

England’s women booked their place in the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships with victory over Scotland in Amsterdam.

Second-half goals from Jo Hunter and Giselle Ansley, on her 100th international appearance, ensured a top-two finish in their group in Amsterdam and a spot in the last four.

The defending champions with face either Belgium or hosts Holland on Thursday (7pm) and Ansley said: “We had a lot of the ball and kept playing our way. We had to keep emotion out of it and to win 2-0, we are pretty happy.

“We’re not going to shy away from the fact we are defending champions. It looks like we will have a tough semi-final but we have done it before and are looking forward to it.”

It was an end-to-end opening with both sides creating chances as goalkeepers Maddie Hinch and Amy Gibson were called into early action, however both were equal to their tasks.

The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Ansley, but Gibson was able to kick away her penalty corner effort before the first break.

Neither side were able to get into their rhythm with possession constantly changing hands, but England improved before the half-time break.

A strike from captain Alex Danson was deflected at goal by Ellie Rayer before Ansley flicked at the target from another penalty corner, but Gibson saved smartly on both occasions to ensure the sides entered the interval still level.

England continued to press for an opener and on 35 minutes they eventually moved ahead as Anna Toman fired a cross into the circle from deep which was met by a diving Hunter whose touch helped send the ball high into the net.

This buoyed England who went on to dominate the third quarter and were unfortunate not to extend their lead when Sophie Bray fired just wide.

A scrappy last 15 minutes followed with four cards being shown, but the result was put beyond doubt in the closing stages as Ansley fired in a low drag-flick from a penalty corner to ensure the win for England.

The men will look to secure their safe passage into the semi-finals when they take on Ireland on Wednesday (1.45pm).

England: Maddie Hinch, Laura Unsworth, Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Giselle Ansley, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Susannah Townsend, Lily Owsley, Alex Danson, Sophie Bray, Jo Hunter, Ellie Watton, Emily Defroand, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Haycroft, Zoe Shipperley. Unused sub: Amy Tennant.

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