Hockey: Mixed fortunes for GB in New Zealand
PUBLISHED: 16:14 11 February 2019
Great Britain's men earned an emphatic 6-2 win over New Zealand in the FIH Pro League, but the women lost 5-1 to their rivals in the double-header in Christchurch.
In the opening match, Adam Dixon scored in his first game since being confirmed as the new captain of Great Britain, while Sam Ward netted the competition’s very first hat-trick and there were two goals for Phil Roper.
The match made it two wins from two for Danny Kerry’s side, who are the only team with a 100 per cent record at this very early stage of the event.
James Gall made his 50th international apperance to round off a very positive game for the men.
Dixon said, “It’s been a great start to the competition. With a bit more time between games now we can take each match at full steam and peak for each weekend with our approach and tactics. It’s paid off for us so far!
“Winning breeds a winning mentality, this tournament allows us to come with a different approach and it’s very exciting.”
The women were less successful in their first FIH Pro League game, being beaten by a ruthless New Zealand side who won last year’s Commonwealth Games.
Giselle Ansley scored GB’s goal with a penalty stroke, as they enjoyed 60 per cent possession, but an Olivia Merry hat-trick contributed hugely to New Zealand’s deserved victory.
Havering’s Emily Defroand was in the match-day squad, while Loughborough’s Lizzie Neal made her Great Britain debut and there was representation from all three home nations across the fixtures.
Wales’ Sarah Jones and Scotland’s Sarah Robertson (of Hampstead & Westminster) and Nikki Cochrane lining up for the women, as Scotland’s Alan Forsyth and Lee Morton represented the men.
Britain and New Zealand will play their return fixtures in London on June 23 when hockey goes to the Twickenham Stoop, home of Harlequins Rugby Club.
The GB teams now move on to Australia to play their next fixtures at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday February 16, with the men in action at 7.30am GMT and the women at 9.30am.