Great Britain win the Azlan Shah Cup

GB celebrate a goal against Australia
Great Britain 4 (Forsyth 8, Goodfield 11 & 43, Willars 33)

Australia 3 (Ockenden 28, Pollard 34, Wotherspoon 48)

Great Britain’s men lifted the Azlan Shah Cup after beating Australia in a seven-goal thriller in Malaysia.

No side from the British Isles had won the title since England in 1994 and GB saw off the nine-time champions in an incredible final.

Goals from Alan Forsyth and David Goodfield put GB into an early lead before Eddie Ockenden pegged one bag, but Ollie Willars was on hand to extend the lead once again.

Joshua Pollard and Dylan Wotherspoon netted either side of Goodfield’s second goal of the game to make for a tense finale but GB held firm to ensure a memorable victory. 

The opening exchanges were understandably tense as both sides felt their way into the contest, but after ten minutes GB found another gear and were soon ahead.

Alan Forsyth was found all alone at the top of the circle and fired home his fourth goal of the tournament and just minutes later the lead was doubled. A clever penalty corner move freed up David Goodfield who taped into an empty goal.

Australia responded strongly but found Harry Gibson at his very best in the GB goal to deny them at three penalty corners before the end of the first quarter. 

Just before half-time the Kookaburras pulled one back through Eddie Ockenden second goal of the tournament. A hit from half way was deflected into Ockenden’s path and he kept his cool before turning the ball home.

Three minutes after the break and GB had their third goal. Barry Middleton was able to find Ollie Willars who found himself high up the pitch and he slammed firmly past the on rushing keeper.

Once again though Australia fought back instantly as Dylan Wotherspoon broke into the GB circle, his perfect pass found Pollard who pushed in from close distance.

However the scoring wasn’t finished for the third quarter. With two minutes remaining Sam Ward and Forsyth combined to find Goodfield who smartly lifted past the keeper.

With just over ten minutes to go the seventh goal of the game was scored. Australia ensured it would be a nail biting finish as Dylan Wotherspoon tapped past Gibson following a goalmouth scramble.

The Kookaburras piled on some late pressure but some dogged defending from GB kept them at bay and the final whistle sparked joyous scenes.

The victory provides a perfect spring board for the players ahead of the World Hockey League Semi finals in London this summer. Both England and Scotland will be competing at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in June. More info here.

Great Britain: Harry Gibson (GK), Ollie Willars, Henry Weir, Ian Sloan (C), Brendan Creed, Dan Kyriakides, Liam Sanford, David Goodfield, Barry Middleton, Sam Ward, Mark Gleghorne

Subs (Used): Alan Forsyth, Phil Roper, Tom Carson, James Gall, Jonty Griffiths
Subs (Not used): Chris Wyver (GK), Chris Griffiths