Source: Simon Watts / WorldSportPics

GB beaten by New Zealand in first FIH Pro League game

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Great Britain’s women were beaten by New Zealand in their first FIH Pro League game after an emphatic display by the Black Sticks.
Britain had 60% possession but found it difficult to get a foothold in the game, while Olivia Merry scored a hat-trick for the Commonwealth Games champions in a ruthless performance.
There was a debut for Great Britain’s Lizzie Neal, while Giselle Ansley got Britain’s goal with a penalty stroke in the first quarter.
The side will now look to regroup for their next match away to Australia on Saturday 16 February.
Match report
New Zealand got off to a very positive start with Olivia Merry nipping in front of a defender to turn home past Nikki Cochrane from close range. But Giselle Ansley made it 1-1 before the end of the first quarter, firing home a penalty stroke on 11 minutes.
The concession of a penalty corner on 19 minutes proved crucial, Ella Gunson beating Amy Tennant to make it 2-1 at the interval.
A thunderous second from Merry made it 3-1 on 35, and from that point on New Zealand were able to control proceedings.
Merry found the net again on 51 from a corner, before Amy Robinson produced a lovely deft touch to make it 5-1 with a minute to go.
With a debut for Neal and a number of other young players part of the squad, there are some reasons to be upbeat after this very first game, but the athletes will of course be looking for a more positive result against Australia next time out.
The FIH Pro League has produced top class hockey in every game so far, and Britain will be looking to turn in a positive performance in their next match in Perth.
New Zealand 5
Merry 5 (FG), 35 (FG), 51 (PC); Gunson 19 (PC), Robinson 59 (FG)Great Britain 1Ansley 11 (PS)
Starting XI: Cochrane, Pearne-Webb (c), Ansley, Toman, Balsdon, Petty, Evans, Martin, Robertson, Rayer, Owsley
Subs used: Tennant, Defroand, Neal, Howard, Sanders, Jones, Hunter
Courtesy of GB Hockey

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