TAUNTON Vale Ladies’ 1st XI Hockey player Sara Similien has just returned from the Netherlands, where she won bronze representing England Over-40s at the IMHA European Masters Hockey Championships.

In their pool games, England beat Wales 6-0 and Italy 4-0, before taking a 1-1 draw from their final match against Ireland.

England won the group on goal difference and so they met Germany in the semi-finals.

After scoring early on, England dominated the game but could not add a second, Germany equalised in the third quarter.

It ended 1-1 so was decided on penalty shuffles, England losing 3-2.

In the bronze medal match, England played Ireland and won 2-0.

Similien, who is head of PE at King’s College, said: “We were pleased to get a medal but disappointed not to play Holland in the final.

“We will now retrial and, hopefully, play in the World Cup next year in Spain.

“The team ethos was brilliant and we played some amazing team hockey.”

Similien’s husband, Val, who also plays hockey for Taunton Vale and is a sports performance coach at King’s, accompanied her on the trip and ended up playing for Ghana Over-45s in the men’s tournament.

Ghana were there as a guest team and found themselves a player short and, even though he is not from Ghana, Val played in three games for them, two of which were won.

Clare Hayes, Taunton Vale Ladies’ First XI coach, and director of hockey at King’s, was meant to play in the Over-45s tournament, but she sustained a knee injury in the Home Nations event in June.