Friday, August 19, 2022

Germany strike late to take Hockey Pro League first honours

Germany’s Charlotte Stapenhorst continued to be the scourge of Great Britain with another late winner at Lee Valley.

Stapenhorst, an Old Reptonian, scored three minutes from the end of a tight tussle, which Germany prevailed 3-2, and were stronger throughout the four quarters.

But with so little proper Test match play, GB will have savoured Wednesday night’s return to the TV cameras while Germany’s players have had the luxury of club hockey – despite several high-profile names left at home.

GB had started the brighter, the in-form Sarah Robertson finding the net from close range on the left early on before Jette Fleschütz converted a penalty corner rebound for the visitors.

After the break, Susannah Townsend scuffed a shot on goal and claimed the goal gleefully with a smile, despite Sarah Evans perhaps offering a touch.

Having already picked up a green for indiscipline, a yellow for Fiona Crackles then saw Germany exploit space. A minute later Die Danas duly levelled through Lena Micheel with GB’s defence on the retreat and the visitors racking up mounting momentum.

In the final quarter, Maddie Hinch was equal to Emma Boermans one-on-one chance and smothered the chance with ease.

And with a shoot-out looming, Stapenhorst’s shot into the ground found its way through a crowded defence.

In Pro League 1, Stapenhorst earned victory for Germany at the same venue, striking 19 seconds from the hooter.

Both sides return on Thursday for their second encounter.

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