HAMPSHIRE hockey star Alex Danson missed out on a European Championship gold medal after her England side were agonisingly beaten in a penalty shoot-out in the final by Germany.
The shoot-out result was cruel on England, who had more than played their part in an enthralling final in Boom, Belgium.
A first-half goal-fest saw Georgie Twigg, Kate Walsh and Helen Richardson all get on the scoresheet for England, but the half finished with Germany going into the break 4-3 up with two of their goals coming from Eileen Hoffmann.
Twigg’s goal came after a bright opening for England, as she bravely converted a rebound from a Walsh penalty corner and got a smack in the face from a flailing German stick for her trouble.
Hoffmann levelled for Germany and the sides exchanged two more quick goals as first Walsh powered home a penalty corner and then Tina Bachmann drew things level at 2-2.
Hoffmann made it 3-2, but Richardson’s cool reverse stick strike cancelled out the advantage.
But it was the Germans who went into the break with the lead as Hannah Kruger slotted home from a penalty corner right on the whistle.
The second half was a much more sedate affair as the Germans shut up shop to protect their slender advantage.
Kim Platten was outstanding in goal for Germany, keeping England at bay as they looked for an equaliser towards the end of the second half.
However, she could do nothing about England’s late leveller as, with just minutes to go, a brilliant run and shot from Lily Owsley was cleverly deflected in on the far post by Susie Gilbert.
As the rain came down, the game was settled on penalty shuttles and Germany were outstanding in winning the shoot-out 2-0, as none of ex-Trojans star Danson, Walsh, Laura Unsworth or Georgie Twigg were able to get the ball past Platten.
The result was revenge for Germany, who lost 2-1 the last time these sides met in a European final back in 1991.