Britain's men reach Grand Finals after historic win

Chris Grassick of Great Britain at the Twickenham Stoop
Great Britain 2
Griffiths (6', FG)
Forsyth (54', FG)

New Zealand 0

Great Britain's men reached the Grand Final of the first ever FIH Pro League on an historic afternoon at the Twickenham Stoop.

Needing a win to finish in the top four, Danny Kerry's side found the net early through Chris Griffiths and could have scored more in the first half, but then sealed all three points thanks to Alan Forsyth in the dying moments.

It was a convincing win for the home side, and in front of a fantastic crowd Kerry's team showed verve, invention but also defensive resilience when they needed to.

The FIH Pro League has been a hugely positive platform for the men, and they now face Australia on Friday night in their semi final in Amsterdam. They go into that match with a spring in their step and most of all optimism about the journey they are currently on.

Indeed the sport itself is also on a very positive curve, as shown by this game in front of the biggest hockey crowd in this nation since the London 2012 Olympics.

Full report
After all the fanfare before the game, Great Britain were called into defensive action right at the start of the match, Harry Gibson making an important save within the first minutes and then helping to repel a couple of New Zealand penalty corners.

But Britain soon settled into their rhythm and gave the vociferous home crowd something to cheer on six minutes when Chris Griffiths lashed home on the reverse for the first ever hockey goal to be scored at the Twickenham Stoop.

Danny Kerry's side were entertaining the 12,000 strong crowd, and Rhys Smith glided into the D down the left with real aplomb but was just cut out in front of goal.

Then Phil Roper tried his luck following an excellent run, but the visiting keeper stood firm and saved well.

Into the second period and again it was Britain on top, Zach Wallace hitting the bar from close range. Having been dominant, they will have been a little disappointed to go in at the break just one goal to the good.

After the interval Britain found it tougher going as both teams struggled to create chances. George Pinner stood firm from a couple of New Zealand penalty corners, while the Kiwis were resolute in defence.

Into the final quarter though, Britain had the second goal they so craved, Ashley Jackson's lovely pass finding Griffiths, whose effort looked goalbound but Alan Forsyth made absolutely sure from close range.

Britain deserved to win, and thanks to Belgium's thumping victory over Argentina earlier in the day, they finished a very creditable fourth in this first ever FIH Pro League.

Great Britain: Gibson (GK), Pinner (GK), Hoare, Ames, Sloan, Waller, Dixon (c), Creed, Gall, Sorsby, Grassick, Jackson, Griffiths, Smith, Martin, Wallace, Roper, Forsyth