Hat-trick hero David Condon admits England are riding the crest of a wave after they got their EuroHockey Championships off to a perfect start by sweeping aside Russia 10-1 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday night.
Condon had notched his treble before the break while seven of his team-mates also got on the scoresheet – with Pavel Plesetskii’s 30th-minute strike the only positive for Russia.
Captain Barry Middleton got the ball rolling with a diving finish nine minutes in before Condon netted a quickfire double and Chris Griffiths slotted past the goalkeeper following a mazy Nick Catlin run.
Iain Lewers blasted in number five and Condon’s rebound completed his hat-trick before Plesetskii finally got Russia on the board on the stroke of half-time.
England refused to let up after the break as Sam Ward finished from close-range, Mark Gleghorne hammered in an unstoppable penalty corner and Catlin made it 9-1 from close range.
David Ames netted his first goal in England colours to round out the scoring two minutes from time but as his side prepare to face Netherlands on Sunday, Condon believes focusing on their own game is playing dividends.
“We didn’t have much information on the Russians going into the game so we tried to concentrate on ourselves,” said Condon.
“We weren’t sure what they would do so we set our stall out and made sure we were aggressive and relentless.
“With Russia being fairly unknown we weren’t sure how important this game could end up being in our group, so we wanted to set a marker down and make sure we win all our games.
“We play Holland next, but we’re confident. As a squad we’ve sometimes struggled to create clear chances so to score ten goals will give us plenty of confidence for the next games.”
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