Thursday, July 7, 2022

Hockey Pro League: England beaten by Belgium sides, Dutch take men’s title

England’s men and women were put to the sword by Belgium in their final Pro League matches of the season.

Sunday capped a dispiriting end to England men’s campaign although Belgium’s 5-0 win was capped off by three goals in the last three minutes when Ollie Payne – pivotal in their Saturday shoot-out win – was removed from the action.

Belgium scored from four PCs, Nico de Kerpel netting a hat-trick from early and late goals, while dangerman Alexander Hendrickx scored from setpieces right at the end as England searched for salvation.

“You know you’re going to be busy so it doesn’t take much for you to get up for it,” Payne told i newspaper.

“And you’ve just got to keep the same process no matter who you play and hopefully it goes well.”

Payne was instrumental on Saturday as he shut out the Red Lions with superb effect to take the game to a shoot-out after a 2-2 draw, Will Calnan scoring a double. England then won the 23m line shuffles 3-0.

England women ended their Pro League campaign with a 4-1 loss to Belgium.

Tess Howard scored her second in as many days after she also played a leading hand in their 2-1 win over the Red Panthers on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the Netherlands beat India 2-1 on Sunday to take the men’s Pro League title.

The Dutch have accrued 36 points from 14 matches while Belgium have 35 points after playing their full quota of 16 matches.

The Dutch play the final games of Season 3 on Saturday when they take on Spain, coach Max Caldas returning to Amsterdam to take on his former charges.

Argentina became the first women’s team to go undefeated in Pro League play after their 3-2 win over India.

At the other end, USA beat China 2-1 to recoed their first first win of the season.


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