Hockey: Jubilant Team GB reach final

Great Britain women powered their way into the final of the FIH Champions Trophy with a disciplined 2-0 win over a rather lacklustre Germany in the searing heat of Rosario.

This is Great Britain’s first appearance at the ultimate stage of this competition – it is normally England who participate – and they were last night due to play hosts and world champions Argentina who eliminated the Netherlands 2-0 in a penalty shoot-out, the match havingfinished 2-2 in normal time.

Scots Emily Maguire and Laura Bartlett featured strongly in the victory, but goalkeeper Abi Walker again watched the game from the stand with Reading’s Beth Storry preferred.

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It took GB only 12 minutes to take the lead. Kate Walsh’s shot at the first penalty corner was blocked by the keeper, the ball fell to Bartlett at the top of the circle and her pass found Sarah Thomas, who took her time to squeeze a shot past Yvonne Frank in the German goal. Further chances fell to Bartlett and Alex Danson, but there was no further scoring before the interval.

GB then shocked the Germans with a second goal only four minutes into the second-half. The penalty corner was won by Chloe Rogers and it looked as if Walsh’s shot was going wide of the target only for Slough’s Ashleigh Ball to nip in and deflect the ball into the empty net. This initiated a period of intense German pressure but Storry and her defence held firm despite losing Helen Richardson, who spent five minutes in the sin bin.

In desperation, the German coach replaced his keeper with a “kicking back” to give himself an extra outfield player, but GB survived the final seven minutes and there were joyous celebrations at the final hooter.

After the match, GB head coach Danny Kerry said: “It was a controlled win in exceptionally hot conditions. We have shown great maturity today in coming out and doing the business in a semi-final.”

“We knew it would be a tough game and we knew we had to concentrate and be disciplined. We took our chances well, we were clinical, and I’m proud of the team for this,” said GB captain Kate Walsh.