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Horror start for England women

England women's indoor hockey team could hardly have had a worse start to their EuroHockey Indoor Championship campaign.

England were hammered 7-0 by the Netherlands in their opening match in Prague, and in the evening they were beaten 4-1 by hosts the Czech Republic.

A small but noisy crowd watched in the Arena Sparta as Karin Den Ouden opened the scoring for the Dutch in the fifth minute from a penalty corner, caused by an English back of stick in the "D".

The Dutch attack was held off for the next fifteen minutes but England failed to capitalise and, just before half time, Kiki Collot D'Escury put a second past keeper Kirsty Makay.

From the whistle onwards in the second half it was an onslaught from the Dutch. Five further goals in fifteen minutes ended England;s hopes of causing what would have been an upset.

Coach Jason Lee's side were outclassed by the Dutch, but the result against the Czechs was a huge disappointment.

It could get worse for England - on Saturday they face mighty Germany, the defending champions.

England's group has been nicknamed the "group of death" and Captain Nicola White will have to motivate her players if they are to finish in the top six and secure a place at the 2015 indoor World Championships. Germany, as host nation for that tourhament, will automatically qualify.