Maddie Hinch and her England team-mates should be proud of their Hockey Women’s World Cup exploits, according to their head coach.
The West Chiltington-based goalkeeper’s dreams of adding another medal to her collection were extinguished last Thursday night as they were knocked out at the quarter-final stage.
The hosts nation suffered a 2-0 defeat to defending champions Netherlands at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre in London.
Lidewij Welten opened the scoring for the Dutch in the first quarter and Laurien Leurink then doubled the lead early in the second half as the world number one side dominated.
The Dutch went on to beat Australia in the semi-finals and then overcame shock finaliasts Ireland with a crushing 6-0 victory in Sunday’s final to retain their crown.
It wasn’t the tournament England were expecting after drawing their opening two Pool B matches. They then beat Ireland to finish second in the group, but had to beat South Korea in the crossover game to make the main knockout stages.
Head coach Danny Kerry, however, defended his team’s performance and pointed to the difficulties they had faced.
He said: “I told the players I was really proud. We have had a tough tournament with injury and for all sorts of reasons.
“One of our players played the entire tournament with a broken big toe but they all grit it out and carried on.
“The Netherlands were the better team and they deserved the win. Other than two great passes, we defended well, but we didn’t hold on to the ball long enough so we weren’t going to create much. That will come.”
Hinch added: “(It) ended too soon, but looking forward with hope and not backwards with regret. Thank you for all the support.”
Hinch won Olympic gold on 2016 and Commonwealth Games bronze in Australia earlier this year.