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GB Finish 6th at The Champions Trophy

Owen G Glenn Men’s FIH Champions Trophy
Auckland, New Zealand
Sunday 11 December 2011

GERMANY 1 (1)
Thilo Stralkowski 30 (PC)                      

GREAT BRITAIN 0 (0)

Great Britain’s men finished sixth at the Champions Trophy in Auckland on Sunday after narrowly losing 1-0 to Germany.  Despite being ranked three places lower than their German opponents, who went into the tournament second in the world rankings, Great Britain controlled the game for large periods but Thilo Stralkowski’s penalty corner five minutes before half time proved decisive. 

Great Britain began well, winning an early penalty corner for a foul on teenager Harry Martin, before seeing out a period of play with nine players as Surbiton’s Rob Moore was green carded, quickly followed by a yellow card for Reading’s Simon Mantell. 

Nicolas Jacobi in the Germany goal thwarted a well worked Great Britain penalty corner midway through the first half while East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson and Surbiton’s James Tindall came close shortly after before Stralkowski’s sucker punch.  On the half hour mark, Florian Fuchs won a penalty corner off the foot of Ken Forbes and 24 year old Stralkowski converted low to goalkeeper James Fair’s left.

Early in the second half Great Britain lost their right to video referral following a hotly contested penalty corner appeal with captain Barry Middleton convinced the ball had risen up into the foot of a Germany defender.

The second half offered little in the way of clear cut chances for either side though.  With the clock ticking down Cannock goalkeeper James Fair was substituted and Great Britain moved to 11 outfield players as they pressed for a late equaliser.  And it almost paid off when, in the final minute, Tindall swivelled on the penalty shot and unleashed a powerful low strike that Jacobi saved well at close range.  Crucially, Germany cleared the danger to hold out for the victory and fifth place, meaning Great Britain finish sixth.

Head Coach Jason Lee said afterwards, “We created plenty of chances today but we just couldn’t get over the line.  The Champions Trophy has been a great learning experience for this group of athletes on the road to London 2012.”

The Champions Trophy is the last world ranking event ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games.  The top five teams at the 2011 Champions Trophy – Australia, Spain, New Zealand, Netherlands and Germany – qualify for the 2012 edition, which will be played in Australia in late 2012.  Other participants at the 2012 Champions Trophy will be determined nearer to the tournament.

Great Britain Squad v Germany

Name (Club) Position

Started

James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper

Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) Defender

Iain Lewers (East Grinstead) Defender

Richard Mantell (Reading) Defender

Niall Stott (East Grinstead) Defender

Ashley Jackson (East Grinstead) Midfielder

Iain Mackay (Reading) Midfielder

Harry Martin (Old Loughtonians) Midfielder

Barry Middleton (East Grinstead) Midfielder/Forward

James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward

Mark Pearn (East Grinstead) Forward

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