Great Britain's men impress in win over New Zealand

05 May 2017

GB men v New Zealand

Great Britain 3 (Sam Ward 9, Phil Roper 39, Mark Gleghorne 49)

New Zealand 2 (Newman 30, Russell 58)

Great Britain have booked their place in the Azlan Shah Trophy Final after a thrilling final-game victory against New Zealand.

Sam Ward gave GB a first quarter lead before Dominic Newman levelled for the Black Sticks against the run of play.

Strikes from Phil Roper and Mark Gleghorne put GB into a deserved lead but a late strike from Kane Russell made for a tense finale.

The final against Australia will take place at 1.35pm UK time on Saturday, and is a marked achievement for Bobby Crutchley’s British side, coming 23 years after England reached the final of this prestigious event.

After the game head coach Bobby Crutchley said: "It was a very good performance in stifling heat. I felt we dominated the game.

"If we had a better conversion rate from the chances we created, the scoreline would have been more comfortable."

GB flew out of the blocks and stormed into the lead through Sam Ward from their first penalty corner. Ward’s drag flick proving too good for Devon Manchester in the New Zealand goal.

Further chances were created before the end of the first quarter with both Alan Forsyth and Mark Gleghorne going close to extending the lead.

New Zealand responded in the second quarter and enjoyed more possession, however it was still GB who looked the more dangerous. Henry Weir carved out an opening and David Goodfield fired just wide with his reverse stick strike.

It looked as though GB would take their lead into the half-time break but in the final minute New Zealand levelled. Dominic Newman collected in the circle and fired high and hard past Harry Gibson.

From the restart GB were immediately on the front foot winning three penalty corners in the opening three minutes, but goalkeeper Manchester was twice at his best to deny Gleghorne.

They kept up this intensity and were eventually rewarded when Phil Roper was on hand to restore the lead. Alan Forsyth’s initial attempt was saved but Roper reacted quickly to mop up the rebound.

GB’s domination continued into the final quarter and they soon extended their lead in style. A deft flicked pass from Forsyth across goal was met by Gleghorne who cleverly steered past Manchester.

However there was to be a twist in the tail as New Zealand pulled one back through Kane Russell’s penalty corner to make for a nervy finish.

However GB responded and thought they had another goal of their own through Forsyth, but this was overturned and the final whistle sounded soon after.

Scotland’s Alan Forsyth is among the tournament’s top scorers with three goals to his name, while Dan Kyriakides became the first Welshman to line up for GB in recent years.

 

Harry Gibson (GK), Brendan Creed, Liam Sandford, Jonathan Griffiths, Barry Middleton, James Gall, Phil Roper (C), Daniel Kyriakides, Tom Carson, Alan Forsyth, Mark Gleghorne

Subs (Used): Ollie Willars, Henry Weir, Ian Sloan, Sam Ward, David Goodfield Subs (Not used): Chris Wyver (GK), Christopher Griffiths

 

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