Thursday, June 30, 2022

England men start Hockey Pro League life with 6-1 thrashing of Spain

If this mauling of Spain was a pre-cursor for England’s packed year ahead, then we are in for a treat.

A 6-1 win in their season-opening FIH Hockey Pro League encounter was conducted with an interim coach and some stand-out performances from players who missed out on an Olympic place. Hockey and cycles.

David Condon was a lively, everpresent force as England ran through the gears with an expressive, expansive performance, one full of energetic, young running.

Condon’s double was added to by debutants Duncan Scott and James Oates, while Zach Wallace scored in his first game as captain. David Goodfield also got in on the act as Max Caldas’ side were put to the sword.

Ignacio Rodriguez scored from a PC late on to give the watching schoolchildren something to cheer for this late morning push back.

Ollie Payne again looked composed in goal, while Scott’s goal – latching on to a fizzing Tom Sorsby cross with a dive and stick connection – was one to savour.

So too the collection of goals from Wimbledon players, while Rhys Smith also shone for England. Condon’s double was sublime, connecting beautifully across goal.

Duncan Scott said: “It was a real privilege putting on the shirt for the first time, especially with this group. Getting on the scoresheet was a bonus but it was great to start with a win.”

England and GB have a tendency to put in commendable performances and then fail to back it up. Saturday will be a litmus test as to the consistency factor. With Wallace and Co, as well as several new faces, a new era might well have dawned.

The second match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 at 12pm GMT.

Spain women later lost 1-0 to the Netherlands, the Olympic champions. The Dutch were playing their first Test after Alyson Annan left the gold medallists three weeks ago.


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