Ward's dream debut as England win Champions Trophy opener

06 December 2014 / 20:32

Sam Ward admitted he was left pinching himself after enjoying a dream debut as England’s men got their Champions Trophy assault off to an impressive start in India.

Forward Ward was not selected in Bobby Crutchley’s original squad for the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar, only for injury to Phil Roper to open the door.

And the 23-year-old certainly made the most of his chance, scoring twice as England saw off Australia 3-1 for an opening win.

Alastair Brogdon also chipped in with England’s opener, and not even Chris Cirello’s reply for Australia could dampen Ward’s mood.

"I can't complain," said Ward of his debut. "When you've got a team like that around you it's brilliant and I can certainly say I haven't played in many games like that before.

"It does make it a bit sweeter getting the three points against such a good side – I've got a few Aussie friends back home but it's just good to get the win and it's been a great first day for me."

England's women, meanwhile, beat Japan 3-1 in a classification match to claim their first win of their Champions Trophy campaign in Argentina.

Sophie Bray scored her second goal of the tournament alongside efforts from Sarah Haycroft and Hollie Webb.

And England captain Sam Quek said: “We’ve been focusing on the same things every game, it was just nice that we got the result and that the goals came.

“I think the most important thing for us was that we kept our concentration, even though we conceded a goal in the third quarter.

“I was proud of the way the girls reacted; we kept our focus and built our attacking play which allowed us to score again and re-establish our two goal lead.”

© Sportsbeat 2014