GB hockey men into first Azlan Shah Trophy final since 1994
PUBLISHED: 18:30 05 May 2017
Squad’s success encouraging ahead of Hockey World League in London
Great Britain’s men have booked their place in the Azlan Shah Trophy Final for the first time in 23 years.
And with the Hockey World League coming to the Olympic Park in Newham next month, the team’s success is encouraging for England and Scotland’s hopes of securing World Cup qualification later this summer.
GB’s final spot was confirmed when they beat New Zealand 3-2 and then saw hosts Malaysia pull off a 1-0 win over India.
The final against Australia will take place at 1.35pm UK time on Saturday and is a marked achievement for Bobby Crutchley’s British side, with the last appearance in the decider coming in 1994.
Sam Ward gave GB a first-quarter lead, before Dominic Newman levelled for the Black Sticks and strikes from Phil Roper and Mark Gleghorne put GB 3-1 up.
A late strike from New Zealand’s Kane Russell made for a tense finale, but GB held on and coach Crutchley said: “It was a very good performance in stifling heat. I felt we dominated the game.
“If we had a better conversion rate from the chances we created, the scoreline would have been more comfortable.”
Scotland’s Alan Forsyth is among the tournament’s top scorers with three goals to his name, while Dan Kyriakides became the first Welshman to line up for GB in recent years.
Six players have made their Great Britain debuts during this event, including England’s Brendan Creed, James Gall, David Goodfield, Jonty Griffiths and Liam Sanford, plus Wales’ Kyriakides.
GB: Harry Gibson, Brendan Creed, Liam Sanford, Jonty Griffiths, Barry Middleton, James Gall, Phil Roper, Dan Kyriakides, Tom Carson, Alan Forsyth, Mark Gleghorne, Ollie Willars, Henry Weir, Ian Sloan, Sam Ward, David Goodfield, Chris Wyver, Christopher Griffiths.
The Hockey World League semi-final takes place in London this summer, at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre from June 15-25.
England and Scotland are both vying for World Cup qualification, along with the likes of Argentina, Holland, India and Pakistan.