Grand Masters Hockey World Cup- Hong Kong

11th - 21st September 2008


Daily Synopsis           [Click on underlined items for individual match reports]

The England Grand Masters, Great Grand Masters and LX squads together with their faithful followers - totalling around 80- persons flew with Virgin Airways to Hong Kong. The flight took roundly eleven and three quarter hours and they all arrived at about 6:30 pm to the Charterhouse Hotel, Hong Kong on Wednesday 10th September. Hong Kong which is 7 hours ahead of the UK was as predicted found to be very hot and humid. The next day the teams had practice time followed by the official opening ceremony and welcome party (drinks and small chow).

Day 1 Friday 12th September
The two England teams plus the LX team were all in action on the first day. First off were England Grand Masters against Italy which they won 5 - 0.  Next were England Great Grand Masters against Scotland which produced an even better result with England winning 6 - 0. Lastly it was England LX versus Germany 2 which resulted in a draw 1 - 1. All in all a very satisfactory day for England

Day 2  Saturday 13th September
First off at 8.30 am were England GM who easily overcame Holland 10 - 0. The Dutch side appeared to be more of a touring side than a National team. In the afternoon LX played Alliance 2 and won 4 - 1. Then late in the evening at 8:30 pm England GGM took on Australia SGM who initially showed some good and skilful play but eventually went down to England 4 - 0. Another good day for England.

Day 3  Sunday 14th September
All the England teams had the day off so many went their various ways sightseeing etc although a few went to the ground at 6.30 pm to see the match between Germany GGM and Australia GGM which proved to be a tight tussle with Australia just coming out the winners at 1- 0.

Day 4  Monday 15th September
LX were first off against Alliance 1 and won 6 -1. Next were England GM against Japan with the result being 11-0. England GGM had the day off

Day 5  Tuesday 16th September  [33 degrees and 55% humidity at 12 noon]
England GM played Australia GM at 8.30 am and had a good win 5-1. Later at 4:30pm England GGM played Germany GGM at 4:30 pm (still very hot & humid) and drew 0-0. LX who finished top in the first round of the Tournament Trophy had the day off and are due to play the 3rd placed team Alliance 1 tomorrow at 8:30 am

Day 6  Wednesday 16th September [33 degrees, 75% humidity +polution levels over 100 index]
England LX who won the first round of games played the third placed Alliance 1 and won 2- 0. England GGM then played Australia GGM and lost 0-2 (England GGM's first loss in the last three years). On the day Australia played the better hockey. England seemed not to have recovered from their hard game the previous afternoon against Germany. England GM had the day off. The Germany GGM game against Scotland was abandoned at half time because of illness in the Scotland camp. At the time Germany had scored 6 goals against a clearly weakened team. This poses a potential problem of how to deal with the Scottish goals in the event of goal difference becoming critical (which it could as between England GGM and Germany GGM)

Day 7  Thursday 17th September
LX played a friendly match against GBU a blend of players from Singapore & Malaysia which LX won 4-1. In the afternoon England GM were in action against Hong Kong (2nd placed team in pool B) and won 4-0. England GGM had a rest day

Day 8  Friday 18th September [An eventful day]
England GGM played Japan but the game was suspended three quarters of the way through due to torrential rain when England had scored 11 goals. This game was resumed later in the afternoon when England made the final score 17-0. Meanwhile it had been decided (erroneously in our view) that the Scotland game against Germany should be concluded by playing the outstanding second half. Germany GGM played Australia SGM in the morning and won 6-1 which meant (according to our calculations) that Germany had to score a further 6 goals against Scotland in the remaining half of their game to equal England GGM goal difference. In the end they only managed to add 2 goals meaning that England GGM go through to the finals against Australia. England GM were also in action against Germany and lost 0-1 but still go through to the finals against Australia. Last off were LX against Alliance 2 which they won comfortably 6-1.

Day 9  Saturday 19th September
No English teams were in action today

Day 10  Sunday 20th September [Finals Day]
First in action were LX against Germany B who drew 2 - 2 meaning that LX are the Tournament Trophy winners. Next up in the afternoon were England GGM against Australia. This proved to be quite an exciting game. After full time the score was  0-0. Under the WGMA rules they then played 2 x 10 minutes extra with a golden goal but after the 20 minutes extra it was still stalemate at 0-0. It then went to barrages of penalty flicks in fives. After the first barrage of five it was still all square but unfortunately from England viewpoint the Australians managed to put one more into the goal than England in the second barrage to end up winners and gold medallists with England gaining the Silver. Lastly it was England GM v Australian GM where England reaped revenge and came out clear winners at 4 - 1.
At the medal presentations Hong Kong Tournament Committee introduced a new trophy to be awarded to the "Player of the Tournament". This was presented to Imtiaz Mahmood-Sheikh of England GM
Footnote from a proud editor; Bury St Edmunds featured John Grinham and Alan Dures in the winning LX team; George Hazell in the England GGM Silver team and Norman Ballard in the winning England GM team.