England Men cruised to a 6-0 win over Poland at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam on Sunday morning.
England, ranked seventh in the world faced unexpected early pressure from Poland (WR 20), conceding two penalty corner in the first four minutes, Jacek Kurowski forcing a save from George Pinner from the second award.
In the sixth minute, England made the breakthrough from their first penalty corner, Mark Gleghorne sending a drag flick high into the top right corner beyond Polish goalkeeper, Maciej Pacanowski.
Gleghorne forced a save in added on time at the end of the first quarter, England carrying their one goal lead into the second period.
Five minutes into the second quarter, Gleghorne struck again, his drag flick this time ending up in the bottom left corner to double England’s lead.
In the 25th minute, Chris Griffiths ran down the right wing, his cross turned into the goal by a Polish defender to give England a commanding 3-0 lead.
Three minutes later, England’s penalty corner routine was effective once more, Sam Ward scoring courtesy of a deflection of a Polish defender’s stick as Poland, aiming to avoid relegation from the top flight, trailed 4-0 at half time.
The scoring slowed in the second half, but the quality of goals were consistent, Ward and Roper combining to allow David Condon to score via a wicked angled deflection into the right of the goal whilst lying on the ground in the 41st minute.
England Head Coach, Bobby Crutchley elected to give the team practice of playing with a kicking back for the final six minutes, Liam Sanford replacing Pinner with goalkeeping privileges.
The final goal came with two minutes to play, Barry Middleton crossing from the right for Ward to finish from close range.
Surbiton’s David Goodfield, who came on as a fourth minute substitute helped to force England’s third and sixth penalty corners which saw Gleghorne and Ward score.
Surbiton’s Brendan Creed, in the England starting line-up, won a free hit in the penultimate minute after Mikolaj Gumny tried to show some juggling ball skills on his stick in the England circle.
Harry Gibson remained patient on the England bench.
Poland forced five penalty corners in the match, but a mixture of weak shots and generally poor routines saw them held scoreless.
Germany face Ireland in the second Pool B game at 2.30 pm on Sunday and the game can be seen on BT Sport 3.
More information on the tournament can be found in the Match Centre section of the FIH website here
The England Hockey match report can be found here