GB lose Four Nations hockey final to Korea

Cordoba Four Nations, Cordoba, Argentina Sunday, January 22, 2012:

Crista Cullen 9 (PC)
Ashleigh Ball 61 (F)      

KOREA 3 (2)    
M.H Park 11 (F)
Kim 31,45 (F) (F)                                                                      

[img_assist|nid=3326|title=Corner goal|desc=Great Britain’s Crista Cullen|link=node|align=left|width=180|height=177]Great Britain’s women have had to settle for second place in the Cordoba Four Nations hockey tournament losing 3-2 to Korea in the final.  Earlier on New Zealand lost their match to Argentina losing 3-2 in extra time to the home side in the play-off for third and fourth place.

Canterbury’s Abi Walker replaced Reading’s Beth Storry to play in the final, whilst Storry’s club teammate Helen Richardson stepped back into the team with Natalie Seymour sitting the game out. 

In much the same way as the first game that Great Britain played against Korea earlier in the week, it was an action packed affair with plenty to talk about.  Leicester’s Crista Cullen gave Great Britain the lead after 9 minutes with a powerful drag flick from a penalty corner,  However the advantage did not last long as Korea pulled the scores level through M.H Park just moments later.

Considering the heat and humidity the game was played at a high tempo throughout.  On the 18th minute Great Britain had a chance to go a goal up as they were given a penalty stroke, but Richardson saw her effort saved by the Korean goalkeeper.  With the game flowing, both teams had chances and just before half-time Korea’s Kim scored her first goal of the night to make it 2-1 going into the break.

It took Kim just 10 minutes to add her second giving Korea a two goal advantage and it could have been 4-1 a few minutes later when Korea scored again, but this time their goal was disallowed.  Great Britain pushed hard to pull a goal back and they were rewarded in the 61st minute as Slough’s Ashleigh Ball broke down Korea’s play and scrambled the ball into the goal.  Despite Great Britain pressing hard in the closing minutes Korea held on to their advantage to be crowned Champions.

Great Britain’s head coach, Danny Kerry was disappointed with the result but upbeat about his team’s performance, saying “This was a really strong team performance and I feel for the girls because they played so well and gave everything.  Korea took their limited opportunities very well and at this level it is the smallest things that make a difference.”

Great Britain will now travel the five hours from Cordoba to Rosario ready for the FIH 2012 Champions Trophy, which begins next week.

Great Britain Squad v Korea
(caps and goals updated on the attached)
Name (Club) Position [Home Nation]

Abi Walker (EuroCanterbury) Goalkeeper [Scotland]
Crista Cullen (Leicester) Defender [England]
Emily Maguire (Reading) Defender [Scotland]
Anne Panter (Leicester) Defender [England]
Laura Unsworth (Loughborough Students) Defender [England]
Kate Walsh (Reading) Defender [England]
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) Midfielder [England]
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) Midfielder [England]
Helen Richardson (Reading) Midfielder [England]
Alex Danson (Reading) Forward [England]
Nicola White (Slough) Forward [England]

 Substitutes Used

Dilly Newton (EuroCanterbury) Defender [England]
Laura Bartlett (Reading) Forward [Scotland]
Rebecca Herbert (Leicester) Forward [England]
Kerry Williams (Leicester) Forward [England]
Sarah Thomas (No Club) Forward [Wales]

Cordoba Four Nations Final Standings

1. Korea

2. Great Britain

3. Argentina

4. New Zealand


Next International Fixture – Argentina FIH 2012 Champions Trophy

Saturday January 28

18:00 UK Time – 15:00 Local Time – Great Britain v Japan