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 goals quickly 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.
Full report :
Sam Ward was on the prowl inside the circle early on, and with eight minutes on the clock he touched just wide of the upright. Down the other end, George Pinner made an important save with Britain temporarily down to ten after a card for Chris Griffiths.
Goalless at the end of the first quarter, Britain scored three in the second period to take control of the match in Christchurch. Ward fired home through the ‘keeper’s legs on 18 minutes after a sequence of four penalty corners, and then we scored two in a minute from corners thanks to Phil Roper and Adam Dixon. Roper’s was a well-worked move while skipper Dixon got a second goal in two games by drilling into the corner.
There were a further four goals in the third quarter, Ward finding the net with a second time finish after the ball was crashed into the circle. Roper then scored from very close range, Ward again involved in the creation.
New Zealand gave themselves a glimmer of hope with two goals in a minute, capitalising on a card for GB defender Liam Sanford. First Nic Woods scored from a corner before Hugo Inglis got a decisive touch on a high ball into the circle.
Any thought of a comeback by the Black Sticks were quickly extinguished though, with Ward capitalising on their decision to go with eleven outfield players, this time Roper the provider on 46 minutes.
Four goals to the good, Kerry’s side saw the game out comfortably and maintained a 100% record after two games played. With Australia next up at 7:30am next Saturday morning, the top class hockey continues apace in the FIH Pro League.