Monday, June 17, 2024

Hockey Pro League: Great Britain finish on a high in Auckland

Great Britain defender Anna Toman says the team has every reason for optimism after finishing their FIH Pro League tour down under with a bonus point win.

After an uplifting 3-0 win over New Zealand on Saturday, a match full of attacking nous and high press, GB women claimed two more points with a draw against the same opponents, with Toman and Grace Balsdon each producing fine corner flicks before Sarah Jones had a last minute goal disallowed.

Tess Howard and Sabbie Heesh, in for the injured Maddie Hinch, then starred in the shoot-out as to secure the bonus point. Black Sticks teenager Olivia Shannon had put the hosts in the lead before her equaliser took the game to a shoot-out.

Toman said: “This weekend has given us heaps of confidence. We aimed to get 50 per cent of points from this trip so we’re a little bit down on that but it’s been an incredible tour, we’ve improved leaps and bounds as a team.

“We’ve started to create a new identity as a team as well so we need to carry that forward. I’m really excited for what’s to come.”

Two goals from Adam Dixon earlier helped Great Britain’s men secure their first outright win in the FIH Pro League as they comfortably beat New Zealand 3-0 in Auckland.

Liam Ansell also found the back of the net as Danny Kerry’s side grabbed all three points for the first time this season, having previously drawn with the Black Sticks on Saturday and Australia the previous week.

It was their first win since beating the Kiwis at Twickenham Stoop last summer.

The day’s action saw Ashley Jackson make his 250th combined England and Great Britain appearance, while Shona McCallin won her 50th cap for GB. On Saturday, she netted her first GB goal.

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