England man of the match Henry Weir admitted it was a bitter sweet feeling as his side rounded off their 2014 Champions Trophy with victory over Belgium to leave them seventh overall.
England had started off the tournament in promising fashion, topping Pool A with victories over Australia and Pakistan as well as a 1-1 draw with Sunday’s opponents Belgium.
However their hopes of progressing through to the medal matches took a dent when they lost out to quarter-final opponents Germany before a 2-1 reverse to Argentina meant another match against Belgium to avoid finishing in last position.
But the squad, who were missing Alastair Brogdon through sickness, rose to the occasion with David Condon scoring twice in a 3-2 win.
Florent van Aubel had put Belgium in front on ten minutes but Condon struck twice within the space of five minutes before Chris Griffiths added a third shortly before half time.
Another Aubel strike gave the world number four side hope but England held on with Weir insisting they can build on the victory going forward.
“It’s really tough, especially with the good start to the tournament that we had, but I think we all got together and realised that getting this experience now and putting everything into this game will help us to go away from here and learn a lot,” he said.
“We know we can play good hockey and we’ve had some fantastic results against the teams who are now in the top four, but we need to produce our best game when it really matters and that’s in the knock-out stages.
“It was fantastic that I could do a few things to help the team out, but it was all about the team performance. Last game of the tournament, a man down and we had to dig deep to get the result.”
© Sportsbeat 2014