|Great Britain’s men earned an emphatic 6-2 win over New Zealand, but our women’s team went down 5-1 in an FIH Pro League double header in Christchurch.|
In the opening match, Adam Dixon scored in his first game since being confirmed as the new captain of Great Britain, while Sam Ward netted the competition’s very first hat-trick and there were two goals for Phil Roper.
The match made it two wins from two for Danny Kerry’s side, who are the only team with a 100% record at this very early stage of the event. James Gall made his 50th international apperance to round off a very positive game for the men.
Dixon said, “It’s been a great start to the competition. With a bit more time between games now we can take each match at full steam and peak for each weekend with our approach and tactics. It’s paid off for us so far!
“Winning breeds a winning mentality, this tournament allows us to come with a different approach and it’s very exciting.”
The women were less successful in their first FIH Pro League game, being beaten by a ruthless New Zealand side who won last year’s Commonwealth Games. Giselle Ansley scored GB’s goal with a penalty stroke, but an Olivia Merry hat-trick contributed hugely to New Zealand’s deserved victory.
Loughborough’s Lizzie Neal made her Great Britain debut, while there was representation from all three home nations across the fixtures, with Wales’ Sarah Jones and Scotland’s Sarah Robertson & Nikki Cochrane lining up for the women, and Scotland’s Alan Forsyth & Lee Morton representing the men.
Britain and New Zealand will play their return fixtures in London on June 23 when hockey goes to the Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins Rugby Club.
New Zealand 2
Woods 43 (PC); Inglis 44 (FG)
Great Britain 6
Ward 18 (PC), 33 (FG), 46 (FG); Roper 27 (PC), 40 (PC); Dixon 29 (PC)
Great Britain’s men made it two wins from two in the FIH Pro League with an exciting win away to New Zealand.
Sam Ward scored the first ever hat-trick in this competition, while Phil Roper hit two and new captain Adam Dixon also scored in a 6-2 victory.
Danny Kerry’s side were ruthless in the circle, and scored six for the second game in succession to go top of the table early on in the competition.
5-0 up after 40 minutes, GB conceded a couple of quick goals but a third for Sam Ward very quickly settled any nerves and it was a comfotable conclusion to the match.
The guys have very much hit the ground running, and with world number two Australia up next, they will look forward to their next game with confidence.
The game was also noteworthy for James Gall, who made his 50th international appearance.
Starting XI: Pinner, Taylor, Ames, Weir, Sanford, Dixon (c), Gall, Wallace, Roper, Ward, Forsyth
Subs used: Gibson, Creed, Griffiths, Morton, Willars, Sloan, Waller
New Zealand 5
Merry 5 (FG), 35 (FG), 51 (PC); Gunson 19 (PC), Robinson 59 (FG)
Great Britain 1
Ansley 11 (PS)
Great Britain’s women were beaten by New Zealand in their first FIH Pro League game after an emphatic display by the Black Sticks.
Britain had 60% possession but found it difficult to get a foothold in the game, while Olivia Merry scored a hat-trick for the Commonwealth Games champions in a ruthless performance.
There was a debut for Lizzie Neal, while Giselle Ansley got Britain’s goal with a penalty stroke. New coach Mark Hager was on the touchline for GB after spending the last three days with his new side.
Starting XI: Cochrane, Pearne-Webb (c), Ansley, Toman, Balsdon, Petty, Evans, Martin, Robertson, Rayer, Owsley
Subs used: Tennant, Defroand, Neal, Howard, Sanders, Jones, Hunter