Great Britain reach double figures in second test against France

Mark Gleghorne in action

Great Britain 10              -                   0 France
                               (Half-time 5-0)
Iain Lewers 2 (PC)
Nick Catlin 7, 16, (FG, FG)
Mark Gleghorne 19, 42, 47 (PC, FG, PC)
Chris Griffiths 25 (FG)
Chris Grassick 38 (FG)
Dan Shingles 40 (FG)
Gordon McIntyre 50 (FG)

A hat-trick from East Grinstead’s Mark Gleghorne as well as a brace for Nick Catlin pushed Great Britain into double figures as they thumped France 10-0 in the second test at Bisham Abbey. Iain Lewers’ 2nd minute strike set the tone and Bobby Crutchley’s side scored five times in each half to round off the two match series with their second big win against the World No17 side.

After yesterday’s 9-1 win over the same opponents, Great Britain imposed themselves on the game early on. Iain Lewers applied the finish from Ashley Jackson’s pass after a broken down penalty corner in the second minute to open the scoring. Five minutes later Nick Catlin came up with a deft reverse stick finish and then added another touching in from Jackson’s pass.

Great Britain were keeping the ball well, patiently looking for an opening as France sat deep, trying to hold off their hosts. Gleghorne opened his account with a powerful penalty corner and then debutant Chris Griffiths grabbed his first senior international goal with a lovely deflection from Barry Middleton’s pass.

After the break Great Britain swarmed forward with George Pinner in the home goal a virtual spectator for the duration of the game. Chris Grassick scored his first goal for Great Britain after good approach work from Gordon McIntyre and then Dan Shingles waltzed through the defence to bury his chance to make it 7-0. Gleghorne slid in to make it 8-0 and then completed his hat-trick from another penalty corner. There was still time for McIntyre to find the net with a lovely lofted finish making it 10-0.

Quotes – England Head Coach Bobby Crutchley

On the performance today:
“I was a bit frustrated at the start as our intensity wasn’t there but as the game wore on we got better and overall I’m very pleased. Some of our attacking play we’ve worked on in training and it came off really well today. Obviously different opposition will offer different challenges but overall we’re very satisfied.”

On what’s next for the squad:
“We’ve got a week’s training then a break and then we go into another block before some test matches with Spain. The Champions Trophy is different for different teams but it’ll be a good test to see where we are. Selection is up for grabs. We want to be strong but also keep developing the group and the new players. This week has given me plenty to think about, but in a good way.”

Barry Middleton, Great Britain Captain:

On the games this week:
“They were two really good wins. We were happy yesterday because we’re pressing teams a lot more and are able to score more goals from winning the ball higher up so that’s a big positive. Being able to repeat that again today is great. We have Spain coming up and we need to kick on again in that one.”

On playing as Great Britain:
“It’s not different for us. We train together all the time and these guys are around the group every day. The big difference is probably for the non-English players, playing at this intensity. When they play for Scotland they aren’t always on the front foot as much, so it’s different for them to adapt and get the mentality. It takes time but it’s great to get them into the side and to get them games.”

On the new players in the squad:
“They’ve stepped in really well. Sometimes you see a gap between new players and the players who’ve been around a while, but it’s not that noticeable with this group. They aren’t below anyone and they’ll keep improving. It’s exciting for me to see that potential. We’ve added people in the positions we wanted and they give us different options. It also pushes the guys who’ve been around a while. It’s a testament to the culture and environment we have that this is the norm and the standard we aspire to.”

Note: Both matches are being played as four quarters lasting 15 minutes each, in accordance with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) rule change which came into effect on 1 September 2014. This is the format that will be used in the upcoming Champions Trophy. You can find out more about the rule changes here.

Click here to find out squad and caps information.

Click here for official match summary.

Click here for official match report sheet.

France are one of the sides in action when Eurohockey 2015 comes to London’s Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. England will face Netherlands, Spain and Russia. For all the details of the competition and how to get tickets, click here.