Grand Masters Hockey World Cup- Hong Kong


Day 1 Friday 12th September

England Great Grand Masters  6 - Scotland  Great Grand Masters  0

England started their defence of the Great Grand Masters World Cup in fine style with this convincing victory over Scotland.
Due to the heat and humidity the game was played in quarters so as to allow players sufficient opportunity to take on fluids and drape on cold towels etc
With honours even in the first exchanges of play pressure soon built up on the Scottish defence who were forced to concede a succession of short corners. England finally broke the deadlock when Bill Warrender snapped up a smart chance before the defenders could react. Peter Ross then added a second deflecting the ball past the stranded keeper. England were therefore 2 up at half time. Immediately after half time during the third quarter England had something of a purple patch. John Sear moved into the 'D' and found the net with a fine strike. Unfortunately soon afterwards a Scottish defender instinctively but illegally used his hand to stop a lifting ball from Gerald Wilkinson finding the back of the net. The Scottish defender was yellow carded and John Longden  safely put away the ensuing penalty stroke. England added two further goals from Peter Ross and Percy Steele. No goals were scored in the fourth quarter producing the final result of England 6 - Scotland 0.
Goal Scorers: Warrender 1: Ross 2: Steele 1: Longden 1 (pen): Sears 1

Day 2 Saturday 13th September

England GGM 4 – Australia SGM 0

With England looking for a good start, Australia were soon under pressure and were lucky to survive an early cross shot from Gerald Wilkinson. Having survived the initial flurry Australia threatened down the right and forced a short corner which was dealt with by the England defence.
With England only making sporadic raids they nevertheless took the lead from a well worked short corner when John Sears’ shot was turned in by Bill Warrender.
Australia endeavoured to get back into the game but were unable to break through the England rearguard.
On the resumption after half time the superior fitness of the England side began to tell and Australia found themselves further in arrears when a direct short corner strike from John Sear struck the backboard. With England defence now dominant Australia found themselves under increasing pressure conceding further goals from Percy Steele in open play and just before the final whistle a fourth goal when Tony Jones deflected home a further short corner strike from John Sear (It was argued that the shot was going in the goal without any deflection from Tony Jones)
Goal Scorers: Warrender 1: Sear 1(or 2): Steele 1: Jones (perhaps 1)

Day 5 Tuesday 16th September

England GGM 0 – Germany 0

With Germany having lost to Australia, they were desperate to avoid defeat in this match and goals were always going to be in short supply.
With the England attack warming to their task a number of short corners were awarded but the goalkeeper was not troubled.   Germany found it difficult to penetrate the England defence and although England created a couple of good chances in general defences were well on top.
Following the half time break, England lost their early fluency and the Germans began to find more space in midfield, moving forward and winning a couple of short corners which were well defended.
With time running out, Germany pressed forward, giving England the chance to threaten with breakaways but neither side was able to finish a move and the match petered out into a hard fought draw.

Day 6  Wednesday 16th September

England GGM 0  Australia GGM  2

England’s 4 year run undefeated finally came to an end at the hands of Australia. Having played a very hard game against Germany only 16 hours beforehand and being pitted against a fresh Australian side and playing mid morning with temperatures of 30 degrees plus and 75% humidity it was always going to be a hazardous undertaking. The England squad was further depleted by the absence of Percy Steele who needed 6 stitches in an arm injury sustained in the match v Germany. With 2 minutes played England conceded an early goal from a well taken short corner and from then on were always playing ‘catch up’ against a side who were in no hurry. Although England threatened briefly and had a couple of short corners the Australian keeper was not called into action.
Moving into the second half an early chance fell to the Australians but the shot went wide. With England desperate to get back into the game and pressing from defence the game was settled when Australia broke into the England ’D’ and scored the decisive second goal.
with time running out a tired England side were unable to break down the resolute Australian defence and at the whistle Australia were clear winners.

Day 8  Friday 18th September

England GGM  17   Japan  0

With England failing to beat the Germans the second place in the final was now down to goal difference between England and Germany. With the Germans holding a 2 goal advantage and still having to play the delayed second half of their game against Scotland it was important for England to get as many goals as possible. Starting the game intent on achieving this objective England moved into the lead within 4 minutes and goals followed at regular intervals with a tally of 7 – 0 by the half time break. Within 13 minutes of the second half and the score 11-0 the Umpires suspended play as an intense tropical storm developed leaving most of the pitch inches deep in water. With all participants taking shelter it became clear no further play would be possible until later in the day and the remaining portion of play was transferred to the adjacent pitch to restart at 1:45 pm. In spite of the disruption England were quickly into their stride with 2 quick goals and 4 more were added to make England convincing winners and requiring Germany to score at least 6 goals in the delayed second half of their match against Scotland. Scotland only conceded 2 further goals and England therefore went through on goal difference to their third consecutive final v Australia.

Scorers: Warrender 6; Ross 3; Land 2; Longdon 2 (pf); Cockcrane 1; Sear 1; Jones 1; Wilkinson 1

Day 10  Sunday 20th September

GGM World Cup Final

Australia 0    England 0   (after extra time)  (Australia won 6 - 5 penalty strokes)

In front of a capacity crowd at the Hong Kong Football Club, England failed to retain the World Cup they won at Leverkusen in 2006.
With Australia unbeaten in the pool stages, they took to the field full of confidence but were the first side under pressure as England showed their mettle and forced a short corner, but defences were well in control and both England and Australia found it hard to penetrate the opposing 25.   With the temperature well into the upper 30’s both sides rolled substitutes on and off to allow water replacement.
The game moved into the second period with both sides equally matched and unprepared to concede any quarter to their opponents.   The whistle for the end of normal time came and the match moved into 20 minutes extra time in which a ‘golden goal’ would have decided the issue.   England needed to clear off the goal line and Australia had a scare when the ball rebounded from a post.
With no sign of either side getting on top, it fell to a penalty stroke competition to decide the outcome.   The score was now at 3.3 after the first barrage.   England finally succumbed when the final penalty of the second barrage was wide of the post.

This had been a truly titanic struggle over two and a quarter hours in searing heat (37 degrees at start of game) and 75% humidity and the large crowd showed their appreciation as the exhausted participants left the field.