REPORT: Belgium 1-1 Great Britain

Great Britain line up ahead of their match with New Zealand
Great Britain started their five-match European Tour with a 1-1 draw against world number three ranked side Belgium.

Liam Ansell put GB into the lead in the first quarter before Gus Meurmans levelled for the hosts. Both sides had good chances to win the match but were well matched. The game also saw young striker Will Calnan make his senior international debut.

It was an entertaining opening quarter with both sides attacking from the off. Belgium went close early on as they hit the post but it was Great Britain who took the lead.

A bobbling ball found its way into the circle where Ansell pounced to collect and convert to score his second goal for GB.

The first penalty corner of the game was won by GB but it was well chased down by Vic Wegnez. Belgium responded though and levelled on 24 minutes as Gus Meurmans slammed home a powerful shot.

GB ended the half strongly winning two penalty corners but some solid defending and a smart save from Loic Van Doren kept the score level.

After the break the contest settled down with fewer chances created but Belgium ended the quarter strongly with a flurry of penalty corners. George Pinner made a fine glove save though and the teams entered the final fifteen minutes with nothing between them.

The penalty corners kept coming in the final quarter for the hosts but a determined defensive effort from GB continued to frustrate Belgium. GB though maintained a threat of their own and Van Doren again had to be at his best in the Belgian goal making two fantastic stops to prevent GB grabbing a winner.

We next face Belgium on Saturday at 2pm UK time as our European Tour continues. After this GB face the Netherlands on the 18 June before two matches in Germany on the 20 and 22 June.

GB Starting XI: George Pinner, Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Brendan Creed, Dan Kyriakides, Adam Dixon, David Ames, Barry Middleton, Chris Griffiths,  Sam Ward, Alan Forsyth

Subs: Harry Gibson, Ollie Willars, Phil Roper, Ed Horler, Liam Ansell, Jonty Griffiths, Will Calnan