Hockey: GB men draw positives in Belgium
PUBLISHED: 20:52 14 June 2018
Great Britain’s men started their five-match European tour with a 1-1 draw against world number three ranked side Belgium.
Liam Ansell put GB into the lead in the first quarter before Gus Meurmans levelled for the hosts and both sides had good chances to win the match but were well matched. The game also saw young striker Will Calnan make his senior international debut.
It was an entertaining opening quarter with both sides attacking from the off and Belgium went close early on as they hit the post.
But it was Great Britain who took the lead when a bobbling ball found its way into the circle where Ansell pounced to collect and score his second goal for GB.
The first penalty corner of the game was won by GB but well chased down by Vic Wegnez and Belgium levelled on 24 minutes as Meurmans slammed home a powerful shot.
GB ended the half strongly, winning two penalty corners, but some solid defending and a smart save from Loic Van Doren kept the score level.
After the break the contest settled down with fewer chances created, but Belgium ended the quarter strongly with a flurry of penalty corners.
George Pinner made a fine glove save though and the teams entered the final 15 minutes with nothing between them.
The penalty corners kept coming in the final quarter for the hosts, but a determined defensive effort from GB continued to frustrate them.
GB maintained a threat of their own though, and Van Doren again had to be at his best in Belgium’s goal with two fantastic stops to prevent a winner.
The two sides meet again on Saturday at 2pm UK time as GB’s tour continues. They then face the Netherlands on June 18, before two matches in Germany on the June 20 and 22.
GB: George Pinner, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Brendan Creed, Dan Kyriakides, Adam Dixon, David Ames, Barry Middleton, Chris Griffiths, Sam Ward, Alan Forsyth.
Subs: Harry Gibson, Ollie Willars, Phil Roper, Ed Horler, Liam Ansell, Jonty Griffiths, Will Calnan.