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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Improving England Overcome Ireland

THE England youth handball teams beat Ireland in both the boys and girls competition in a friendly tournament staged at Birchwood, near Warrington, on Saturday.

Just a matter of months since Ireland beat them in a club tournament, England showed just how much they have improved by winning the event, which was their first international matches on home soil and were hosted by the Warrington Wolves Handball Foundation at Birchwood Leisure Centre.

England fielded both their A and B teams in both the boys and girls events, and after England Girls B had lost out 10-4 to Ireland, England A battled to a 18-16 victory over England B.

And in the final match, England A won again, beating Ireland 15-10 with Ellie Whitehead scoring six goals, while Laura Black and Jess Milligan both added three. But it had been level at 7-7 at half time until a second-half push from the England girls saw them clinch victory.

In the boys event, Ireland were made to toil by England B before narrowly winning 20-19, but England A proved too strong for their B side, winning 26-11.

In the day’s final event, England A took on Ireland and after leading 12-8 at half time, they built on their lead and ran out 26-17 winners with James Higgins scoring nine, while Paul Roden added four. For Ireland, Anderson scored five and Harding four, but it was not enough to stop a much-improved England side.

A healthy crowd were treated to a parade of the teams before the action began, and Louaz Hofton, England Handball’s Director of Development, presented a special EHA Plate to the Irish Olympic Handball Association’s Susanne Moloney.

After the event, Moloney invited England back to Ireland for a re-match, to be staged in Dublin next year with the Under-16 teams.

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