GB Go Well on NZ Pro League Trip
By Surbiton HC
Great Britain’s Men’s and Women’s squads bolstered their Pro League points tallies on a successful trip to Christchurch at the end of April.
Thirteen SHC players were involved in the matches, with some outstanding individual performances and milestones chalked up during the tour.
GB Women opened their mini-tournament with two wins in their first weekend of action as a GB side since the autumn. The first match was a close contest against Australia, with GB ultimately coming out on the right side of a 1-0 scoreline, SHC’s Giselle Ansley scoring the winner in a game which also saw club mate Hannah Martin earn her 50th combined cap for England & Great Britain. In game two, GB beat hosts New Zealand 2-0 with goals from East Grinstead’s Tess Howard.
The third and fourth matches were higher scoring affairs, with the women bouncing back from a 3-1 defeat against Australia to thrash New Zealand 6-1 in the final game of the tour. Surbiton’s Izzy Petter and Darcy Bourne were both on the scoresheet within the first four minutes of the game, with Hannah Martin and Giselle Ansley also converting in a four minute window late in the game. GB’s other goals were scored by Grace Balsdon and Tess Howard.
Nine points from the trip to Christchurch put GB Women up to sixth in the table with home games against China, Belgium, Germany and USA in the next few weeks.
GB Men went undefeated in normal time across their four matches, starting with an emphatic 5-2 win over the NZ Blacksticks. Five different players were on the scoresheet, with former SHC junior Zach Wallace’s backhand volley the pick of the bunch. GB beat Australia in the second game, with goals from Old Georgians players Sam Ward and Lee Morton enough to take a 2-1 victory.
Another big win (6-1) against New Zealand followed on the final weekend of action, with another thriller against Australia in the last game. The crowd were treated to a 3-3 draw, with James Mazarelo making an incredible double save to deny Australia in the moment of the match. Congratulations to SHC’s Brendan Creed who made his 50th GB appearance against Australia.
GB’s Men are flying high, currently sitting second in the Pro League table. They will host India, Belgium, Germany and Spain in the remaining matches of the 2022/23 season in May and June.