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Hockey - 08. June 2012.

Day 3 Investec London cup-Great Britain miss out on semi finals

Great Britain miss out on semi finals
Great Britain Hockey Results Service
Investec London Cup 2012 - Day Three Round Up

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Pool B

Hannah Kruger 27 (F)
Janine Beermann 29 (F)

Hannah Macleod 59 (F)

Despite a battling performance, Great Britain's Investec London Cup crunch match with Germany ended in disappointment on Thursday evening as they went down 2-1 and with it, missed out on a place in Saturday's semi finals.

It was a performance that Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry later called "sublime at times" but ultimately two German goals in the space of two first half minutes did the damage, despite a late strike from Hannah Macleod and a series of excellent saves by Germany goalkeeper Yvonne Frank.

The match began brightly for Great Britain.  After comfortably surviving an early German penalty corner, GB won a series of four penalty corners in the space of 14 minutes. Frank saved from the first before an intricate move broke down and Frank made another good block.  In between, Canterbury's Natalie Seymour and Clifton's Georgie Twigg both did well to thwart German forays forward.

When the opening goal came it was somewhat against the run of play.  Veteran Germany star Natascha Keller did the early work down the left hand side before finding Hannah Kruger.  Kruger's shot on the turn was deflected low into the goal by teammate Janine Beermann and Germany had the lead after 28 minutes.

No sooner had they gone ahead than Germany stunned the crowd with a second strike.  Again, Keller was involved as she lashed a pass into the circle from the right side of the 23 metre line.  Her effort found its target, Hannah Kruger, through a mass of British bodies and Kruger reacted quickly to turn the ball home on the back post for 2-0.

Requiring four goals to reach the semi finals, Great Britain returned for the second half with real hunger.  Leicester's Anne Panter, making her 100th international appearance, combined well with Reading's Helen Richardson to set up fellow Leicester teammate Kerry Williams whose near post effort was turned wide.

Bowdon Hightown's Sally Walton, Leicester's Hannah Macleod and University of Birmingham's Susie Gilbert all came within inches of connecting with crosses into the German circle as GB pressed hard for a goal.

Yvonne Frank came to her side's rescue again with 20 minutes remaining as she saved well from Reading's Laura Bartlett before a diving deflection from Slough's Ashleigh Ball flew just wide.

The pressure told with 11 minutes remaining as Hannah Macleod provided a patient finish on the back post after superb interlink play between Chloe Rogers and Susie Gilbert.  Drawing the goalkeeper, Macleod composed herself to slot home for 2-1 to rapturous cheers from the British support.

With the German defence on the back foot, Great Britain pressed on and as Richardson's flashed shot on the turn flew wide it seemed as if an equaliser was moments away.  Ashleigh Ball forced Yvonne Frank into another fine save with a shot on her reverse before Germany scrambled clear two probing British runs in the final minutes.  Ultimately, the comeback wasn't to be for Great Britain as Germany hung on for a 2-1 victory and with it, a semi final clash against Australia on Saturday.

After the match, Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry said, "I'm quite proud really.  I generally thought we were exceptional, like a knife through butter at times.  It was good learning for us.  Germany will play a lot better than that at the Olympic Games and they took their chances very well but I thought we were sublime at times."

South Africa, the other team in Pool B, will face the Netherlands in the first of Saturday's semi finals while Great Britain and Ireland will meet at 10:30am on Sunday.

An extra stand has been brought in to satisfy the demand for tickets to the Investec London Cup this weekend.  Additional tickets are now available for both Saturday and Sunday, either on the gate or via www.greatbritainhockey.co.uk/investeclondoncup.

Name (Club) [Position]
Beth Storry (Reading) [Goalkeeper]
Emily Maguire (Reading) [Defender]
Natalie Seymour (Canterbury) [Defender]
Laura Unsworth (Loughborough Students) [Defender]
Sally Walton (Bowdon Hightown) [Defender]
Ashleigh Ball (Slough) [Midfielder]
Helen Richardson (Reading) [Midfielder]
Chloe Rogers (Leicester) [Midfielder]
Laura Bartlett (Reading) [Forward]
Hannah Macleod (Leicester) [Forward]
Nicola White (Slough) [Forward]

Used Sub
Anne Panter (Leicester) [Defender]
Sam Quek (Reading) [Defender]
Susie Gilbert (University of Birmingham) [Midfielder]
Georgie Twigg (Clifton) [Midfielder]
Kerry Williams (Leicester) [Forward]

Did Not Play
Kate Walsh (Reading) [Defender]
Rebecca Herbert (Leicester) [Forward]

Pool A


Kelly Jonker 32, 38, 67 (F, F, F)
Marilyn Agliotti 50 (F)
Ellen Hoog 65 (F)

In the final game in Pool A the Netherlands took on Ireland hoping to secure their place in Saturday's semi final.  After an impressive performance in the opening match of the Investec London Cup on Tuesday, the world's number one side put five past Ireland without reply.
A relatively quiet first half saw the Irish soak up sustained pressure, again opting for the aerial ball to clear from defence. Emma Gray made a host of top class saves to keep the Netherlands at bay for most of the first half but Kelly Jonker finally got past the Irish goalkeeper with a sweetly struck reverse shot. Going in 1-0 down at the break satisfiedthe Irish after putting in 35 minutes of hard work. The second half told a different story as the Netherlands stepped up a gear, immediately threatening the opposition circle. Jonker got on the score sheet twice more for her hat-trick while legendary midfielder Marilyn Agliotti chipped in as did Ellen Hoog to make the final score 5-0.
Challenging the Netherlands could have been a daunting ask for a side ranked outside the top ten but Ireland captain Alex Speers was very pleased with the performance of her team, "We competed well in the first half but in the second tired legs lead to mistakes and the Netherlands exploited this."

The Dutch had the bulk of possession in the first half and took just five minutes to secure their first penalty corner. With regular drag-flicker Maartje Pauman rested the opportunity to try corner variations was used. The game opened up as the first half wore on but Gray was equal to everything, including an impressive reaction save low to her right from Naomi van As. Another forward causing problems was Kitty van Male who looked certain to score but for a fine double save by Gray who also dealt with a powerful penalty corner from Caia van Maasakker. Kelly Jonker finally broke the deadlock with three minutes remaining in the half to give the Dutch a deserved lead.
The Netherlands kept the pressure on and began to dictate the match more in the second half. Jonker again provided the finishing touch after a penetrating run by Eva de Goede to make it 2-0. Ireland dealt with the situation well trying to turn defence into attack and they won their first penalty corner of the game forcing an excellent save from Joyce Sombroek who had not been called into action often.

The Dutch were not prepared to sit back though and the crowd could sense that more was to come. Agliotti was in the right place at the right time with a simple tap in to make it 3-0 after good work from Carlien Dirske van de Heuvel who provided a pin-point pass from the back line. Captain for the day Naomi van As was running the show for the Netherlands in midfield and as the game progressed she became more threatening in attack. It was her run that set up the fourth Dutch goal, which Ellen Hoog tucked away from close range. Mirroring the first half, Kelly Jonker scored three minutes from time, completing her hat-trick and a 5-0 tally for the Netherlands.
Ireland Head Coach Denis Pritchard had earlier made it clear that he had a young squad that were hoping to learn much from playing in the competition. Twenty year old Chloe Watkins was impressive throughout as she showed ambition and skill on the ball. His response to how the team performed as a whole was positive saying, "We had a game plan to limit the Netherlands in places but it's hard when legs get tired."
His Dutch counterpart Max Caldas was pleased with the result as he looks for the final combination of players to put forward for the Olympics. Caldas said, "We are pretty happy with the way it went. We are lucky enough to have competition in the squad."
The final standings in Pool A see the Netherlands finishing on top to progress to the semi-final stage along with Australia.  The Dutch will take on South Africa in the first semi final on Saturday before Australia's match with Germany

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