Encouraging start for Great Britain

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Great Britain 3 India 3

Great Britain showed courage and enterprise in their first match in the Olympic qualifying tournament here yesterday, writes Bill Colwill from Barcelona.

Denied the services of Russell Garcia, Julian Halls then suffered back spasms and was unable to get out of bed. Further disaster followed as India took the lead four minutes into the game when Sanjeev Kumar, taking advantage of confusion in the British defence, worked the ball past Simon Mason.

With Chris Mayer creating a lot of problems with his speed down the right, Britain clawed their way back into the game through corner specialist Calum Giles 16 minutes into the game.

A splendidly taken goal by Rob Thompson in the 30th minute gave Britain the lead following a flowing move started by Guy Fordham deep in his own half. With 30 seconds of the half remaining Giles struck again to give Britain a 3-1 half-time lead.

India speeded up the game after the interval, exposing a lack of pace in the British defence and eventually drawing level through goals by Mukesh Kumar and Dhanraj Pillay.

Tomorrow Britain tomorrow play Canada, beaten 5-1 yesterday by the Dutch in a powerful display of attacking hockey.

GREAT BRITAIN: S Mason (Reading); J Wyatt (Reading), Soma Singh (Southgate), G Fordham ( Hounslow), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), S Hazlitt (Hounslow), C Mayer (Cannock), J Shaw (Southgate), R Thompson (Hounslow), J Laslett (Teddington, capt), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: C Giles (Havant), D Hall (Guildford).

INDIA: B Anjapara; Pargat Singh (capt), A Aldrin, Harprett Singh, R Nabi, S Khan, Mukesh Kumar, Baljeet Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, Sanjeev Kumar, G Ferreira. Substitutes used: Ramandeep Singh, Baljeet Singh.

Umpires: S Deo (Sp), P van Beneden (Bel).