Grand Masters Hockey European Cup 2011- Neuss, Germany.


Day 1  Monday 22nd August 2011

England GMv  Italy  1

A hat trick by Yardley with other goals by Imtiaz, Brogden and Johnson enabled a strong England side to defeat their Italian opponents. It was one of those games when many chances were created but not finished in a clinical fashion. The substitute Italian goal keeper did make numerous saves and a deserved a man of the match award. However the highlight for the Italians was their goal , or rather their celebration by the goal scorer after he converted (just) a penalty stroke.
A solid opening performance by England marred only by the injury to George Johnson which has almost certainly ruled him out of the rest of the Tournament.

Day 2 Tuesday 23rd August 2011

England GM  12  v  Scotland  0

After a slow start England produced a dominant performance. Goals came at regular intervals in the first half from open play after Angus Brogden scored the first from a short corner.
England made regular strategic substitutions to ensure enough rest in the heat for key players and to keep pressure on the Scots. Scotland were unable to mount any attack at all and England continued their domination scoring 6 more in the second half, including superb finishes from Sarosh Talati and Imtiaz (who demonstrated just how a goal should be celebrated)
The Scottish man of the match award went to their goal keeper for his spectacular ‘head save’

Day 3 Wednesday 24th August 2011

England GM  3  v  Belgium  2

A frustrating game all round against a Belgian team of much better quality than Italy and Scotland. Another injury this time to John Smith has hampered England's options. 0 - 0 at half time, some missed chances, 2 good saves by the Belgium keeper but largely a poor performance by England. Improvement in the second half - several short corners, a missed penalty, a converted penalty, an equaliser from Belgium, 2 good strikes by Muller and Talati and a 'goal' awarded to Belgium when the only player to touch it in the 'D' was English.
Hopefully that is the bad game out of the way - now for Germany in the semi-finals.

Day 4 Thursday 25th August 2011

Semi-Finals.  England GM  3  v Germany  0.  

England had the better of the chances in the first half against the usual strong German side but it was still 0 – 0 at half time. The second half saw England play with even greater purpose and endeavor and with greater periods of possession for England the German defence gradually opened up. Richard Yardley scored 2 goals with wonderful strikes, Bob Banks saved a shot on the line from a German penalty corner and then further sustained pressure brought England a 3rd goal courtesy of Richard Slator – a flick from the top of the ‘D’ no less!
An excellent performance and result for England. The final against Holland beckons.