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Hockey: Double defeat for GB in Australia

PUBLISHED: 12:37 16 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:37 16 February 2019

Great Britain's men huddle before play (pic GB Hockey)

Great Britain's men huddle before play (pic GB Hockey)

Archant

Great Britain’s men were defeated 2-0 by Australia while the GB women fell to a 3-0 loss in the latest FIH Pro League double header in Perth.

GB's Hannah Martin in action in Perth (pic GB Hockey/Gordon Pettigrew/Worldsportpics.com)GB's Hannah Martin in action in Perth (pic GB Hockey/Gordon Pettigrew/Worldsportpics.com)

In the opening match, Great Britain’s men suffered their first defeat in the new competition as they failed to find a way past the world number two team.

The result made it two wins from three games for Danny Kerry’s side, who currently occupy third place in the FIH Pro League table.

In what was an evenly contested encounter, Trent Mitton was first on the scoresheet despite GB enjoying 67 per cent possession.

Jacob Anderson doubled the Kookaburras’ lead shortly after with some good finishing on show from the hosts.

Alan Forsyth then struck a sweet reverse stick shot just over the crossbar as GB, who included Hampstead & Westminster’s Will Calnan, battled to find a comeback.

Resilient defending throughout blocked Great Britain’s hopes of getting back into the game with a low scoring game finishing 2-0 in favour of the Kookaburras.

Kerry said: “There has been some good progression in our play over recent weeks and we need to remember that despite the result.

“Ultimately, we need to be better at retaining the ball under the pressure of the physicality, heat and intensity of the game. When we did handle the ball we could open Australia up. Our defence was more solid but credit to Australia for scoring off transition play.”

The women, including Havering’s Emily Defroand and Hampstead & Westminster’s Sarah Robertson, suffered a second FIH Pro League defeat, falling to a clinical Hockeyroos side 3-0.

Despite GB dominating the opening quarter, the Hockeyroos took the lead, Kalindi Commerford tucking the ball in.

Immediately after being denied a penalty corner, Australia stole the ball and scored struck a field goal courtesy of Mariah Williams for a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

There was nothing the GB ‘keeper could do to deny Fitzpatrick from scoring the final blow in the fourth quarter as the Hockeyroos assured their victory.

A youthful GB team put in a spirited performance as they went head to head with Australia, however, an inability to find the back of the net proved costly.

Despite the scoreline, it was an encouraging showing from the GB side who take on China on Saturday February 23 looking to put some points on the board.

Led by good performances from captains of both sides in Adam Dixon and Hollie Pearne-Webb, 15 players across both squads had less than 10 GB caps as experience succeeded for the hosts.

There was representation from all three home nations across the fixtures, with Wales’ Sarah Jones and Scotland’s Robertson and Nicki Cochrane lining up for the women, and Scotland’s Alan Forsyth and Lee Morton featuring for the men.

Great Britain and Australia will play their return fixtures in London on Sunday June 9 at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

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