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Hockey Pro League: Great Britain women ease past New Zealand

GB ran out 3-0 winners in Auckland PIC: WORLDSPORTPICS/SIMON WATTS

Shona McCallin scored her first Great Britain goal in superb fashion on Saturday as Mark Hager’s side secured their first Pro League points of the campaign.

On his return to New Zealand as GB coach, Hager oversaw a comfortable 3-0 win against the Black Sticks in Auckland.

Tess Howard opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a close range shot, before Charlotte Watson notched a well-executed penalty stroke.

In the final quarter, Howard slapped into the circle where an unmarked McCallin deflected low from high up in the D. It was a wonderful strike and her first goal in 48 GB matches.

“They were faster and quicker to the ball and it looked like they wanted the win more,” said New Zealand’s Stacey Michelsen.

Maddie Hinch picked up a jaw injury early on in the match. Meanwhile, Great Britain’s win atoned for their match last Sunday where a perplexing FIH rule saw points awarded to Australia after the cancellation mid-match due to adverse weather – despite GB winning at the time.

Meanwhile, New Zealand men and GB drew 1-1 in their encounter, with the Kiwis running out 3-1 winners in the shoot-out.

Stephen Jenness scored in the 43rd minute before Chris Griffiths levelled 13 minutes later. The teams resume for the second games on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Las Leonas made a winning start to their campaign with a 6-2 triumph over USA.

Olympic men’s champions Argentina went down 4-3 as Spain came back to win courtesy of a last minute PC strike from Pau Quemada.

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