Grand Masters Hockey World Cup- Cape Town, South Africa

 ENGLAND GREAT GRAND MASTERS


Day 1 Wednesday 15th September

England Great Grand Masters  1 - Netherlands 0

Holland took the game to England in the first half and only some great goalkeeping by Paddy Maher keep the scores level at half time. The short corner count was Holland 5 ..... England 1, so it was a good performance by the English defence to keep them in the game. After half time, the GGM's began to get more fluency into their game and were rewarded when Adrian Stephenson found the net from a penalty corner. Several more good saves from Paddy Maher and solid marking prevented the Dutch from scoring the equaliser that they threatened.

Day 2 Thursday 16th September

England GGM 1 – Germany 0

In a very physical game, Germany played a tactical battle for much of the game, relying on the long through ball to a lone striker to make the break through and using rough and ready tactics to break down any English attempts to play with any cohesion.
England unfortunately lost the mobility of Ted Hayes in the first half to a hamstring injury, but Bob Purshouse showed tenacity down the right wing to prise open the German defence.
Playing conditions were not easy, but with a gale force wind blowing into their faces in the second half England fashioned several chances to score, notably from short corners, when Captain Mike Surridge was unlucky not to connect after finding himself in a superb position.
The break through eventually came from another penalty corner, when Brian Perryman slipped the ball left to Adrian Roberson, whose fierce shot flew into the net off a German stick.
With eighteen minutes remaining, England weathered, rather than controlled the storm and with just 10 seconds remaining, foolishly gave Germany the opportunity to level the scores by conceeding penalty corner. Germany declined the invitation and allowed England to carry forward six points from two games.
John Longdon and Adrian Robertson performed steadfastly at the back for joint man of the match awards.

Day 3 Friday17th September

England GGM 0  – Australia  1

A disappointing result for the GGM's after their two opening wins, but they can take heart from the fact that they created seven penalty corners against only two by Australia. The Aussies proved to be the better team in the first half and took the lead after the first ten minutes. A pinpoint pass into the circle found the Aussie centre forward completely unmarked and his pass across the face of the goal was turned in with ruthless efficiency. Forced to play the ball from deep in defence, Ada Robertson fired some missiles deep into enemy territory, but it was not until after the interval that England began to get back on terms.
Reverting to the diamond formation with Brian Perryman at the top of the formation and Ken Wilcock in the holding role worked well and the team began to exude  confidence that resulted in the high penalty corner tally, but unfortunately, nothing came of them. England GGM's now face Scotland after a well earned two day break in a game that will decide who plays who in the cross over matches. Man of the match voted for by the Australians, was Brian Perryman, who was presented with an Australian team shirt.

Day 4 Saturday 18th September

Day off

Day 5 Sunday 19th September

Day off

Day 6 Monday 20th September

England GGM 4  – Scotland  0

In their final pool match England needed a win to confirm their position in second place,  this they duly did with a convincing performance in the first half. Scotland played into their hands by choosing to play with a lone striker, enabling them to play down both flanks and they opened the scoring after just 12 minutes Adrian Stephenson cleverly diverted the ball behind him into the net. Further goals from Ali Watson and Mike Surridge confirmed the England dominance before the interval.
Several positional changes after the break disrupted the fluency of their attack, but England always had control of the game and increased their goal tally mid way into the second half, when Mike Surridge netted his second of the game.
GGM's now progress into the semi final stage and play Germany at 1700 on Tuesday for a place in the final.

Day 7 Tuesday 21st September

England GGM 3  – Germany  0

In an exhibition of how to destroy the opposition in the opening of a semi final, England GGM's put on a master class. The ball was swept around the back looking for weak points and when one was found it was executed with clinical efficiency. Within 3 minutes, England took the lead when Bob Pursehouse fired in a right wing cross for Adrian Stephenson to force the ball over the line at the near post.
Shortly afterwards, Terry Howlett found Mike Surridge on the left wing, whose jinking run earned a penalty corner. This was not the sharpest of routines, but the ball broke free for Surridge to pop the ball in the net for the second goal. A few minutes later, Norman Ballard found Stephenson in the circle with a tremendous ball and although not able to score directly, eared another penalty corner, which was converted to make it 3-0 after only fifteen minutes .At this stage it was all over for Germany and a cloud of resignation hung over them like the clouds at the top of Table Mountain. The whole squad played magnificently to earn a place in the final against Australia on Friday.

Day 8 Wednesday 22nd September

Day off

Day 9 Thursday 23rd September

Day 10 Friday 24th September

England GGM 2  – Australia  0

In the Great Grand Masters final, played in Cape Town , England outplayed Australia by 2 goals to nil to take the gold medal. The GGM,s were determined to start the game in the same tempo that served them so well in the semi final against Germany. Each team player had been given a specific roll to play by coach John Oakshatt and they did it magnificently. The back four of Jim Tranter, John Longdon, Adrian Robertson and Terry Howlett provided a strong platform for the mid field to work from and they in turn provided the engine that kept the side ticking over at a tremendous pace. Richard Clarke and Norman Ballard on the flanks gave width to the central unit and Brian Perryman worked his socks off, carrying, harrying and creating chances for the forwards.
As early as the eighth minute Adrian Robertson's disguised pass found Adrian Stephenson in the circle and he was able to force the ball home. Whether it was complacency or new energy from the Aussies, there followed a period of strong pressure on the England goal, resulting in a series of penalty corners. Paddy Maher made several World Class saves to deny the Aussies a way back into the game. Bob Pursehouse on the right wing always posed a threat and had two goal line wobbles dealt with in last ditch tackles.
The second half became a bit of a nervous affair until thirteen minutes from time, when Terry Howlett fired a missile like pass to Mike Surridge at the top of the circle and the England captain kept his cool to lift the ball into the net.
Peter Ross, Ken Wilcock, Peter Crayford and Ali Watson all played valuable rolls in replacing tired legs and the injured Ted Hayes got on to the pitch with just two minutes to go to savour the atmosphere of a confident Gold Medal performance.

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