Great Britain Men maintained their one hundred per cent record in the FIH Pro League with a stunning 6-2 win over New Zealand in Christchurch.
After a goalless first half which saw Sam Ward unlucky not to put Great Britain ahead with a deflection and also saw George Pinner make a diving save in front of goal, Great Britain’s penalty corner routine made the difference in the second quarter.
Forcing a succession of penalty corners, it was fourth time lucky as Ward’s shot went through Black Sticks goalkeeper Richard Joyce in the 18th minute.
Three minutes before half time, the ball was slipped to Phil Roper who made no mistake from Great Britain’s fifth penalty corner to double the visitors’ lead with a shot into the bottom right corner.
Two minutes later, it was captain Adam Dixon’s turn to score, his shot from his side’s sixth penalty corner ending up in the bottom left corner to give Great Britain a comfortable three goal lead at the interval.
The Black Sticks fell further behind in the 33rd minute when Ward put away a rebound after a Joyce save to make the score 4-0.
In the 40th minute, Ward, looking for his hat-trick, lobbed the ball towards the left post where Roper was waiting to smash the ball home to give Great Britain an amazing 5-0 lead.
Towards the end of the third quarter, New Zealand threatened to mount an unlikely comeback with Great Britain’s Liam Sanford in the sin-bin. First, Nic Woods converted a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, then a minute later, Hugo Inglis deflected an aerial ball into goal amid Great Britain protests.
With Sanford still in the sin-bin, Ward duly completed his hat-trick within a minute of the start of the final quarter, spinning round to decisively finish and complete a comprehensive victory
Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth, James Gall, Luke Taylor and Zach Wallace were all in the GB starting lineup, with Brendan Creed coming on as a third minute substitute and goalkeeper Harry Gibson replacing Pinner in goal for the second half.
Gall made his fiftieth combined international appearance against New Zealand, having won 37 England caps and 13 Great Britain cap.
More information about the men’s competition can be found at the FIH Pro League website
The Great Britain Hockey match report can be found here