Old Loughtonians players star on England duty

Four Old Loughtonians players represented England under-18s in matches with Scotland at the National Sports Centre in Lilleshall this week, in preparation for the forthcoming Four Nations Tournament.

Emily Defroand and Elisa Filarmonico were in action for the girl’s team, while George Lilley and Sam Spencer featured for the boys.

Taking on the auld enemy twice in as many days, Filarmonico started, while Defroand was an unused substitute in Sunday’s 3-0 win.

Hannah Martin opened the scoring on three minutes, deflecting home Georgia Byas’ cross-shot and Alice Freeman doubled the advantage before half time.

The victory was sealed in the final minutes of the match, when Jess Orrett converted from a penalty corner.

Defroand replaced Filarmonico in the starting line-up for Monday’s second match and was among the goals, as England overturned a half-time deficit to win 3-2.

Kiki Lawal struck for the Scots from open play on 20 minutes, but Grace Balsdon levelled on 46 minutes and just four minutes later Old Loughts’ Defroand gave England the lead.

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Sarah Watson equalised for Scotland on 62 minutes, but Rebecca Weston wrapped up the win, tapping in Sunny Ricketts’ cross five minutes later.

England’s boys earned a stylish win in their opening match, but were held to a draw in the second game.

Lilley started both games, while Spencer came off the bench in both, netting in England’s emphatic 5-1 opening victory.

Early goals from Luke Taylor and Sam Hatherley gave England a 2-0 lead at half time and just a minute after the restart, Loughts’ Spencer netted the third.

Hatherley and Taylor then struck again, before David Patterson scored a 53rd minute consolation.

But Scotland were much improved in the second match on Monday and battled to a 3-3 draw.

Patterson put Scotland in front, but James Spain levelled before half time.

The Scots regained the lead through Corey Hastings after the break, but were again pegged back courtesy of David Goodfield’s goal.

Jonny Roy’s deflected effort gave Scotland the lead for the third time, but England hit back yet again to claim a draw, with Luke Taylor scoring from a penalty corner.

Meanwhile Old Loughtonians pair Katie Richards and Harry Martin, will represent Celtic Panthers and Saxon Tigers respectively at the Great Britain Super League.

The fifth annual talent identification tournament see’s the cream of the country’s hockey players compete in front of watching coaches from international teams.

Four women’s squads and five men’s squads will take part in the event, which began this week and runs until May 1, with matches taking place at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, Forthbank in Stirling, Bisham Abbey in Buckinghamshire and Lilleshall in Shropshire.