Seventh heaven for GB women as they clinch World League gold

21 June 2015 / 18:24

Captain Kate Richardson-Walsh saluted the entire team effort as Great Britain women rounded off a weekend to remember with gold at the Hockey World League Semi Final in Valencia.

Just 24 hours after securing Olympic qualification for Rio 2016 via their semi-final win over Germany, Great Britain returned to the pitch to defeat China 2-0 in the gold medal match.

Goals from Hollie Webb and Alex Danson, both from penalty corners, did the damage as the Great Britain saw off a side they had already beaten in the pool stages.

But while Webb and Danson will be the names in the history books, victory in Spain was indeed the result of an impressive effort from the entire team.

The newly crowned champions won all seven of their games, conceding just two goals all tournament, with the defence managing six clean sheets in total.

And Richardson-Walsh admitted it was not just those in Spain who had contributed to the success.

 “It was an amazing performance in this tournament,” she said.

“We said at the beginning that we’d take one game at a time and build momentum, and that’s what we’ve done.

“It wasn’t our most stellar performance but we dug in and took our chances when they came.

“I’ve played with Alex a long time and it’s really sweet to link up and see that corner come off.

“We’re here as a squad of 18 but we have a squad of 31 and we really want to build for the year ahead.”

Sunday also saw Great Britain’s men’s team get their World Hockey League Semi Finals up and running in Antwerp against hosts Belgium.

And it ended up being a point shared as captain Barry Middleton's strike and Alastair Brogdon’s second-half goal were cancelled out by efforts from John-John Dohmen and Sebastien Dockier in the second and fourth quarters.

“It was a typical game against Belgium,” said head coach Bobby Crutchley. “I thought we were cagey in the first quarter but then came into it more in the second quarter and had some good chances.

“I was pleased with Alastair Brogdon’s goal. It shows we have players with flair in the team who can create chances for us.

“Obviously we wanted to get the win but overall I’m satisfied with the performance for a first game of the tournament.”

The men’s next game in Pool B will be against Ireland on Tuesday.

© Sportsbeat 2015