Marvellous Martin steers England to first win

Hat-trick hero Hannah Martin celebrates netting against Wales.jpg

England 9 (3)
Grace Balsdon 7, 9 (PC, PC)
Susie Gilbert 11 (FG)
Lucy Wood 24, 26, (FG, FG)
Hannah Martin 28, 31, 36 (FG, FG, FG)
Sarah Haycroft 39 (FG)

Wales 1 (1)
Julie Whiting 17 (FG)

A hat-trick from University of Birmingham’s Hannah Martin inspired England to their first win of the EuroHockey Indoor Championships II with a 9-1 demolition of Wales.

Martin struck three times in eight second-half minutes with England leading 5-1 as they showed yet more improvement in their third match of the competition.

Grace Balsdon had continued her outstanding form in front of goal, netting two early penalty corners in the seventh and ninth minutes, to add to her two goals in the opening two games.

Susie Gilbert added to the tally with her first of the competition and although Julie Whiting pulled one back for Wales, England were firmly in the ascendancy at the break.

If the first half had been controlled by Andy Halliday’s side, the completely dominated the second period. Lucy Wood struck two goals in two minutes shortly after the interval before Martin took centre stage. The talented No5 scored in the 28th, 31st and 36th minutes to take England out of reach of Wales. Surbiton’s Sarah Haycroft put the gloss on the scoreline with a ninth just a minute from time.

Head Coach Andy Halliday was delighted with his team’s continued improvement, saying:

‘Great progress in our performance this morning, we are now starting to demonstrate a better understanding of effective indoor core skills and game management. Our progress will really be tested when we play Croatia later. It will be interesting to see how we will break down the deep defensive zone they deploy.’

England face Croatia in their next match this afternoon at 15:40 UK time.

For all the scores, scorers, fixtures and results click here.