Great Britain narrowly beaten by Australia

Mark Gleghorne celebrates after scoring against Australia

Great Britain 1 (Gleghorne 51')

Australia 2 (Mitton 44' Dawson 52')

Great Britain were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Australia in a tightly contested encounter in their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup clash.

Trent Mitton put Australia into a final quarter lead before Mark Gleghorne levelled for GB. However a Matt Dawson penalty corner restored the Kookaburras’ lead.

There was precious little between the sides who were well matched throughout until the final quarter when both sides’ attacking flare came to life.

GB were frustrated not to snatch a late point after piling some considerable pressure onto the Australia goal, but their defence held strong.

Head coach Bobby Crutchley said: "It was a much improved performance. A tight game of high intensity hockey. I thought we matched Australia for long periods.

"Obviously we are disappointed to lose, but I feel the group will have learned much from this game."

Both sides flew out the blocks immediately, putting pressure on the defensive lines and attacking the circles. Firstly Ollie Willars was thwarted by Andrew Charter in the Australia goal before Harry Gibson was on hand to stop Eddie Ockenden.

After these early chances though both teams settled into the game and largely cancelled each other out. Both defences showing their strength as the first quarter ended goalless.

The second quarter continued in the same manner to which the first ended, both sides remaining evenly matched. However Australia ended the half strongly forcing a penalty corner which eventually led to them being awarded a penalty stroke.

However after an umpire’s review it was clear that the ball had come off Sam Ward’s stick and not his body and the decision was overturned.

The contest continued to be a close one with neither side creating any clear cut chances but Australia again ended the quarter strongly and soon moved ahead. After a goalmouth scramble Trent Mitton kept his cool to lift the ball past Gibson.

With ten minutes to go though GB were back level. A quick break saw Mark Gleghorne free with the ball at the top of the circle and he rifled home through the legs of Tyler Lovell.

GB’s joy though was short lived. Almost immediately Australia moved back into the lead as Matt Dawson finished firmly from a penalty corner.

Australia were very much on the ropes in the closing stages as GB pushed hard for an equaliser. But despite three successive penalty corners in the final minutes they couldn't draw level.

GB’s next game in the tournament is on Friday 5th May against New Zealand at 9.05am UK time. Victory could see them reach Sunday’s final.

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

Subs (Used): David Goodfield, Tom Carson, Christopher Griffiths, James Gall, Jonathan Griffiths, Phil Roper#

Subs (Unused): Chris Wyver (GK)