England Under-17s battled to retain their crown in an annual four-nation tournam
England 0-3 USA
England Under-17s battled to retain their crown in an annual four-nation tournament, but after two victories they lost 3-0 to overall winners USA
England, coached by Jane Ebbage, had beaten Scotland 3-1 and Northern Ireland 2-1, but they went down to USA in their final game on Monday May 5th at the Ballymena tournament.
England had won the four-nation tournament staged in Scotland in Easter 2002, but - as with every age group - all the teams staged different squads due to the age turnaround.
England played Scotland in their first game of the international friendly tournament on May 2nd, with Emma Thomas, Dani Bird and Hayley Kemp, from the penalty spot, on target.
In the second match, against Northern Ireland just one day later, England added another win - this time 2-1 courtesy of goals from Kate Holtham Heather Sheuber. Defender Hayley Kemp volunteered to play in goal for the game after both regular 'keepers were ruled out injured and faired very well.
England went 2-0 up in the first half before Northern Ireland came back early in the second half. The game was not as close as the scoreline suggests though, with England missing a hatful of chances.
Then in the final game on Monday May 5th, which was the tournament decider, England went down 3-0 against a strong USA side. England finished the tournament in second place behind the unbeaten Americans, with six points, five goals scored and five against.
By Bev Ward