GB men pegged back by Ireland in second World League game

23 June 2015 / 12:25

Great Britain men’s captain Barry Middleton insists there is no need for panic in the camp, with the team instead needing to work on the finer details following their second consecutive draw at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Antwerp.

Two days after drawing their opening Pool B game 2-2 with hosts Belgium, Great Britain finished with the same scoreline against their Irish counterparts on Tuesday.

They had raced into a 2-0 lead inside the first quarter with Middleton’s cross turned into his own net by John Jackson before Chris Griffiths added a second on eight minutes.

But Ireland were more than worthy of their point, with Kyle Good pulling a goal back before half-time before Jackson levelled matters in the third quarter.

Great Britain were also indebted to keeper George Pinner who pulled off a double save late on to ensure a point for his side.

The result leaves Middleton’s men second in Pool B on two points behind Malaysia – who Great Britain face this weekend following Thursday’s clash with China.

A top-three finish in Belgium will ensure the men follow in the footsteps of the women in sealing Rio qualification, and Middleton believes there are still plenty of opportunities remaining to hit top form in Antwerp.

“It’s frustrating as we’ve been in both games we’ve played and been ahead and they’ve come back and got draws from them,” he said.

“But it’s a long tournament. Little things make a big difference and we’ve still got a lot of time left to achieve what we want to do here.

“We started well. When we went 2-0 up, we just needed to do a few more things a little bit better. When they had to come out and play and press us, we needed take advantage of that and we didn’t quite do it as well as we wanted to.

“We probably weren’t as good as we can be I think.

“It’s just doing what we do everyday back home. We played really well two days ago against Belgium and we played well today, Ireland are a good team,

“It’s not that we played badly but it’s just the little details that you get you through a tournament which we need to work on.”

© Sportsbeat 2015