FIH Pro League: GB women beat Belgium, but men lose

PUBLISHED: 17:42 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:42 19 May 2019

Laura Unsworth and Grace Balsdon celebrate (pic Frank Uijlenbroek)

Laura Unsworth and Grace Balsdon celebrate (pic Frank Uijlenbroek)


Great Britain’s women claimed their first home win in the FIH Pro League with a 2-0 success over Belgium.

Action from GB's match with Belgium (pic Frank Uijlenbroek)Action from GB's match with Belgium (pic Frank Uijlenbroek)

But the men suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of their Belgian rivals, who are the reiging world champions.

Superb goals from Grace Balsdon and Lily Owsley earned GB women the spoils on Sunday, having been unlucky to only take a point from Argentina on Saturday.

Mark Hager's side, including Havering's Emily Defroand and Hampstead & Westminster's Sarah Robertson, were impressive again, and put in an excellent display to take all three points.

Britain were dominant throughout but found Belgian keeper Aisling D'Hooghe in superb form, especially in the first half when GB made 19 circle entries.

However the deadlock was broken when Balson lashed home a superb penalty corner on her 50th international appearance.

You may also want to watch:

And with time ticking, the hugely impressive Owsley capped her performance with a stunning goal, running from halfway before smacking home with seven minutes to go.

The win took GB up into sixth in the table, and with more key matches to come - especially at home - they will be looking to make further inroads in this year's inaugural FIH Pro League.

GB's men were punished by a ruthless Belgium side in the later match at Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre.

Belgium took advantage of any mistakes in the home back line and showed the quality that gave them a first World Cup title last year.

Britain, with Hampstead & Westminster's Harry Martin and Will Calnan in their squad, had their moments, but the visitors were excellent at both ends of the pitch; decisive in attack and Vincent Vanasch top class in the Red Lions' goal.

While of course the home crowd wanted Britain to win, they cannot fail to have been impressed by a side that includes the current FIH world player, goalkeeper and young player of the year.

For Britain, they reflect on two games against Argentina and Belgium this weekend in which they performed well in considerable spells but ultimately weren't able to convert possession into the goals they craved.

It was another top class weekend of international hockey in the capital, and next up for Danny Kerry's side is the reverse fixture in Antwerp on May 30.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Latest East London Sports News

6 minutes ago

The owner of cricket ball manufacturer Dukes says bowlers should have ‘no problem’ producing swing in England this summer despite the imminent ban on using saliva.

6 minutes ago

Under normal circumstances, Essex would this week be embarking on the defence of their Vitality Blast T20 title.


The Premier League has held talks with sports technology company STATSports to help shape training sessions ahead of the move to contact training.


Former Rugby Football Union chief executive Francis Baron believes a ‘Coronavirus Cup of World Rugby’ next summer could significantly ease the economic hardship facing the global game because of the pandemic.

Yesterday, 18:12

Lee Westwood is optimistic that the European Tour’s planned resumption at the Betfred British Masters will go ahead in July.

Yesterday, 16:00

West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan is to make a personal donation to Newham Foodbank of £3,500, to cover the shortfall in matchday donations from the five postponed home matches from Irons Supporting Foodbanks.

Yesterday, 14:00

Players from West Ham United’s Academy of Football are keeping track of their fitness programmes, while at the same time raising money in aid of King George and Queen’s Hospitals Charity, to support their inspiring local NHS heroes in East London and Essex.

Yesterday, 10:00

Leyton Orient chief executive Danny Macklin heaped praise on Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane by terming him as a ‘first-class individual’


The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and support business across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

People working for a wide range of private companies have been standing side-by-side with public sector staff on the front line during the coronavirus outbreak.

The United Kingdom is pulling together as one, with people from all regions and all four nations of the country helping each other through the coronavirus pandemic.

Most read sport


A competition for wannabe writers has been started to add works to Canary Wharf’s ‘short story’ dispensers which are temporarily locked up by the lock down.

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser