England women went some way to putting last summer’s Commonwealth Games heartbreak behind them as they beat the Netherlands on penalties to win the EuroHockey Championships.
Back at Glasgow 2014, England were within seconds of getting their hands on gold before Australia equalised and went on to triumph on penalties.
But it was the opposite scenario this time around at the Olympic Park as goals from Sophie Bray and Lily Owsley in the final quarter cancelled out two Caia van Maasakker strikes to force the penalty shootout.
Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was then the hero with three penalty saves as England won 3-1.
While there was added reason to celebrate for Alex Danson, the scorer of one of England’s three successful penalties, as she was named player of the tournament.
And for captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, success could not be sweeter after coming so close on previous occasions.
“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I’ve wanted my whole career to stand on top of the podium with this team or any team I’ve played in and I wanted to stay in my kit the whole night,” she said.
“Even when we were 2-0 down, there was still plenty of time, there was 15 minutes.
“I knew that we could cut through them and we just had to keep with the belief. Our corners have been slowly getting better at the tournament and if the chances came I knew that we could take them.
“With ten seconds to go, I was like ‘c’mon, don’t be another Commonwealth Games, don’t be another European Championships.’
“We’ve been there so many times but this team is learning how to play out the game.”
© Sportsbeat 2015