England’s men’s hockey team earned a very pleasing 5-2 win against Germany to end their trip to South Africa in fine style.
It has been a very positive experience for Bobby Crutchley’s side, with eleven players making their England debuts, three wins in four games, Chris Griffiths back after long term injury and some very important work on the training pitch for the new squad.
With World Cup qualification on the line at the Hockey World League in London this summer, it was a perfect building block for the men’s team.
With a number of players missing through injury, and the likes of Barry Middleton and Adam Dixon unavailable following the Hockey India League, the three wins in six days – including this result against a German side who won bronze in Rio – were especially pleasing.
The game exploded into life and Germany went 1-0 up inside two minutes, but England had the perfect response, Sam Ward equalising three minutes later. Captain Ian Sloan made it 2-0 with 10 minutes on the clock, and new recruit David Goodfield then scored twice to give England a 4-1 lead at half time.
Both teams scored in quick succession early in the second half, with Chris Griffiths on target for England, and a pulsating game ended 5-2.
England head coach Bobby Crutchley said, “It was a great way to finish the trip. I thought we really learned a lot from the performance and how we pitted ourselves against the German side.
“It was a highly competitive performance from the players and excellent to end the trip on a high note.”
England: Gibson, Creed, Sanford, J Griffiths, Willars, Weir, Sloan (c), Turner, Ward, C Griffiths, Ansell
Subs used: Pinner, Hoare, Albery, Gall, Carson, Scott, Goodfield
During this trip there have been England debuts for Brendan Creed, Harry Gibson, Liam Sanford, Ed Horler, David Goodfield, James Turner, Jonty Griffiths, James Albery, Liam Ansell, James Gall and Peter Scott.
George Pinner and Ian Sloan have each worn the captain’s armband twice during this trip.
David Ames was unable to make the trip through injury, while Phil Roper picked up an injury in training and did not play in any of the matches. Chris Griffiths though did make his comeback after long term absence which forced him to miss last summer’s Olympics.
3: David Goodfield
2: Chris Griffiths, Sam Ward
1: Liam Ansell, Michael Hoare, Ed Horler, Ian Sloan
England 5-2 South Africa
England 0-3 Germany
England 1-0 South Africa
England 5-2 Germany