Great Britan test series vs Argentina

Alex Danson celebrates scoring for Great Britain

Great Britain took a squad to Tucumán, Argentina for a three test series against Las Leonas ahead of the World league Finals in Rosario.
The test squad contained 14 of the athletes set to go on to Rosario for the World League Finals with Hannah Macleod, Georgie Twigg, Kate-Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh rested and joining up before the first game in the World League Finals. Their places in the test series were taken by Sarah Haycroft, Susie Gilbert, Steph Elliott and Giselle Ansley.

Match 1:

Great Britain 0 (0)

Argentina 0 (0)

Great Britain had the better of a close, well contested match just 48 hours after arrival in Tucuman. Head Coach Danny Kerry played all his squad with Maddie Hinch and Kirsty Mackay sharing the goalkeeping responsibilities.

GB forced more chances in the first quarter with Hollie Webb going close at a rewarded penalty corner in the closing stages. Her shot was well saved by goalkeeper Belen Succi. Other chances fell to Lily Owsley, Alex Danson and Susannah Townsend as the half played out but to no avail.

The second half continued in the same vein with both teams creating chances and penalty corners but the goalkeepers and defences held firm for a 0-0 draw in the first of the three test series in front of a substantial crowd in Tucuman.

The match was a special occasion for Holcombe's Nicola White, who made her 50th GB appearance.

Danny Kerry, Head Coach: "It was a game we largely controlled. Overall given we've only been off the plane 48 hours it was pleasing to see how we played. We didn't convert our chances which kept the game close. Most pleasing was how tight we were defensively. Argentina struggled to create many opportunities. There are many areas to improve on and I'm sure Argentina will be slicker tomorrow."

Match 2:

Argentina 3 (1)

Carla Rebecchi 18, 36, 42 (FG, FG, FG)

Great Britain 1 (1)

Ellie Watton 24 (FG)

Argentina were the better team tonight in Tucuman and eased ahead in the 3 Match Series by virtue of a 3-1 win in the second match, thanks to a hat-trick from captain Carla Rebecchi.

Danny Kerry’s side had the best chance of the first quarter when Nicola White intercepted a pass and linked cleverly with Alex Danson to set up a scoring opportunity, saved by the goalkeeper Maria Aladro. Argentina dominated the rest of the quarter but could not get past Kirsty Mackay who started for GB tonight.

Argentina won their first penalty corner at the start of the second quarter but a well worked move was smothered by Mackay on her near post. Las Leonas eased ahead midway through the period when a low hard right wing cross was deflected in on the far post by Rebecchi. Mackay had to deal with two angled back hand shots before GB equalised following a cross field ball from Giselle Ansley to Susannah Townsend who broke into the circle and saw her shot deflected past the goalkeeper by Ellie Watton.

Danny Kerry’s side had the best of the early minutes of the second half. A clever interchange between Danson and Watton produced GB’s first Penalty Corner. They failed to capitalise and it was not long before Argentina went ahead when a defensive error led to two Argentinian players passing round Maddie Hinch who had replaced Mackay at half-time, allowing the Argentina captain her second of the match. A flowing multi-pass move resulted in a goal for Great Britain but it was disallowed, the ball being deflected into a British body before it found the goal. As Danny Kerry’s team pressed to get the equaliser, Argentina exposed the high pressing defence to counter and score past the exposed Hinch, Rebecchi compelting her hat-trick.

Great Britain had their best spell in the final period as they tried to reduce the deficit but failed to capitalise on their opportunities and the game finished in a 3-1 victory for the hosts.

The match marked Emily Maguire's 50th appearance for Great Britain and Susie Gilbert's 150th England and GB combined appearance.

Danny Kerry, Head Coach: "We were not alive until ten minutes before half time. We were 2-1 down by that point. We were dominant in the second half and had a goal disallowed which would have brought us level. We missed several good chances after opening them up. A piece of craziness from a set piece set up their third goal which was a shame as we were dominating at that point."

Match 3:

Argentina 1 (1)

Maria Granatto 23 (FG)

Great Britain 1 (1)

Alex Danson 9 (FG)

Great Britain started strongly and after even opening exchanges a good run by Susie Townsend led to a reverse stick shot being deflected by Alex Danson past the Argentinean goalkeeper to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Argentina responded, forcing a penalty corner but a double save by Maddie Hinch kept them out.

The second quarter began with chances at both ends. Ashleigh Ball and Danson went close before a defensive error led to a free shot for Argentina which Maria Granatto duly buried to level the scores.

Argentina began the 2nd half strongly and Kirsty Mackay was in action quickly, thwarting sustained attacks. Danny Kerry’s team had few forays into the Argentinean circle and they came close when Ellie Watton's close deflection was well saved by Belen Succi.

Argentina forced another Penalty Corner but a strong strike was well saved by Giselle Ansley on the Great Britain line with a shot right out of her cricketing past.

During the final quarter Great Britain worked hard for the winner but they were unable to find the goal and it remained 1-1.