Fresh cycle, new players, indifferent results. That’s the facts which face England or Great Britain teams at the start of an Olympic path. And that was summed in Mönchengladbach yesterday when England followed up a brace of victories with defeats in their men’s and women’s Pro League matches with Germany.
England women lost 4-1, after a 4-3 win the day before thanks to the incisive circle movement of Darcy Bourne, while the men lost 3-2, after winning their opening clash 1-0.
Hannah Martin scored the only goal for England women, deflecting in a penalty corner, after Germany had looked the part in the opening quarter to hand them the ascendancy.
Charlotte Stapenhorst, Nike Lorenz, Hannah Gablac and Pia Maertens scored for Die Danas, two goals late on adding gloss to Germany’s victory.
David Condon had given England men the lead after three minutes before Malte Hellwig levelled on 21 minutes.
Tom Grambusch had then put Germany in front after the break before James Gall intuition saw the visitors level. But Gonzalo Peillat, the former Argentinian, struck what proved to be the winner moments later.
Germany played with 10 men for much of the last quarter through ill-discipline with a yellow and two greens, but England just couldn’t find a way through.
On Wednesday, Bourne had scored her first two goals of her international career, including a late winner, as England beat Germany 4-3.
Grace Balsdon and Tess Howard, returning to hockey after over a year from a knee injury, also scored.
Nick Bandurak then made it a clean sweep for England in a tight 1-0 win over Germany, aided by fine goalkeeping from Ollie Payne, England’s chosen captain.
England, missing several internationals due to continental club competition, next face Pro League matches at home towards the end of the month.