Grand Masters Hockey European Cup 2011- Neuss, Germany.


Day 1  Monday 22nd August 2011

England SGMv  Germany  0

This was the first game of the day. Taking the game to the Germans from the first whistle England were soon threatening the German goal and a thrust down the left earned an early short corner. The Germans were a threat particularly down the left which was dealt with by George Hazell and Brian Tubb. Mike Fripp in goal was also called on to save when Germany had a short corner.
Midway through the half England moved into the lead from another short corner won by Bill Warrender. The short corner was struck firmly by George Hazell and Tony Henman picked up the rebound and slotted it into the goal. England continued to hold the upper hand in the second half with Gerry Kort constantly worrying the German defenders who were forced into desperate defence at times. England were unable to add to their tally and the final score was 1 - 0.

England SGM  3  v  Netherlands  1

For their second game of the day England were forced into early positional changes with Gerald Wilkinson unable to take to the field following a finger injury in the earlier German match. Andy Holden took up position on the right wing with Tony Henman moving inside. Early exchanges were fairly even and the Dutch were finding their front men in space but they were unable to get past John Longden and Leon Mack. With 15 minutes gone England moved into the lead when Peter Danson picked up a cross from George Hazell on the edge of the 'D', beat his opponent, and shot the ball into the net. The Dutch were soon back on level terms when a mix up in the England defence resulted in a simple goal.
with the score at 1 - 1 and England keen to maintain a 100% record they again went ahead when a penalty corner was awarded after a defensive clearance had been charged down. Aquick exchange of passes in the 'D' enabled George Hazell to sweep the ball into the net. The advantage was rthen doubled when another short corner was converted by a direct David Wright strike.
England were now well on top and time ran out with the Dutch well beaten.

Day 2 Tuesday 23rd August 2011

Day off.

Day 3 Wednesday 24th August 2011

England SGM  0  v Germany  0

For the England side a win in this match would clinch the European title but Germany could not afford to lose. Consequently with so much at stake nerves were jangling from the word go.
Germany forced an early short corner which was well defended and then England broke away to threaten but defences were on top and play was mainly in midfield. The second half began in similar vein with both sides trying to break the deadlock. England's approach play was good but the final ball into the circle was poor. Germany was looking for crosses into the 'D' to reach their attackers and Mike Fripp in goal was forced to deal with a couple of dangerous situations. The defensive unit of George Hazell, Leon Mack, Brian Tubb, David Wright and John Longden was sound and Frank Hardy linked well with the forwards. With about 3 minutes to go John Longden instinctively raised his stick above his head to stop an overhead ball and unbeknown to the remainder of the defence was green carded for 2 minutes. With an exciting game finishing 0 - 0 England's grasp on the trophy requires a win in the final game against the Nederlands.

Day 4 Thursday 25th August 2011

England SGM  1  v  Nederlands  0

England's hold on the European Cup was dependant on ensuring at least a draw in this match and the game began with England putting early pressure on the Dutch defence who were fortunate to survive when a chance fell to Bill Warrender in front of goal. Again sound defence meant England meant England had the lion's share of possession but were unable to apply the coup de grace. Following the half time break England continued to dominate but were thwarted by a combination of desperate Dutch defending and English frustration. Tony Henman brought an exceptional save from the Dutch keeper but the deadlock was finally broken when Gerald Wilkinson surged forward and found Gerry Kort who was unceremoniously bundled over when poised to shoot and a penalty flick awarded. With 2 minutes of time remaining John Longden stepped up to convert the penalty stroke (very nearly saved by the keeper) and England retained the title for the 2nd time. England had a number of short corners in both halves of the game but were unable to put them away. England goalie Mike Fripp did not touch the ball during throughout the game. England Hockey President Simon Mason was present in support and joined the team for a photograph