Dutch dumbfounded

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The Independent Online

Britain's coach Barry Dancer must have worked extremely hard in the hours between his team's crushing6-1 defeat at the hands of Germany on Friday evening in the opening game of the Panasonic Masters Four Nations Tournament, and their confident 3-0 win against the Dutch, the World and Olympic champions, yesterday afternoon.

Britain's coach Barry Dancer must have worked extremely hard in the hours between his team's crushing6-1 defeat at the hands of Germany on Friday evening in the opening game of the Panasonic Masters Four Nations Tournament, and their confident 3-0 win against the Dutch, the World and Olympic champions, yesterday afternoon.

Dancer was the first to admit that injuries had robbed the Dutch of their principal three strikers, but it was the strength of character of the British squad which was so pleasing yesterday, particularly as the Dutch will be Britain's first opponents in Sydney.

Britain's success was built around the introduction of Tom Bertram into the defence and Guy Fordham into the starting line-up in the midfield. After four minutes a precision through-pass from Bertram found Calum Giles on the left wing. His stinging reverse-stick shot was saved, but Danny Hall popped the ball into the goal in the ensuing mêlée.

With Brett Garrard temporarily suspended towards the end of the first half Britain survived a testing period, thanks to several fine saves from Simon Mason. They continued to play the more aggressive game, although it was not until 11 minutes into the second half that they won their first penalty corner. A bad bounce robbed Bertram of a first-time shot, but quick thinking by the Bournville defender saw him returning the ball to Jon Wyatt, who scored from close range.

An aerial ball from Wyatt with just three minutes remaining found Hall running at a skeleton Dutch defence as they tried to claw their way back into the game. He calmly turn Eric Jazet and then gave the goalkeeper no chance.

The transformation in the British team had been unbelievable. Today they play Korea in their final game.

Great Britain: S Mason (Reading); B Garrard (Surbiton), J Wyatt (capt, Reading), T Bertram (Bournville), C Parnham (Cannock); M Johnson (Cannock), D Hacker (Canterbury), G Fordham (Guildford); B Sharpe (Cannock), D Hall (Guildford), C Giles (Surbiton). Substitutes used: J Wallis (Teddington), M Pearn (Reading), B Waugh (Southgate).

Holland: G Vogels; E Jazet, B Lomas, D van Weel, W van Pelt; S Veen (capt), J Delmeee, M Eikelboom; P F van Esseveldt, P Geeris, K Klaver. Substitutes used: S van der Weide & P Windt.

Umpires: Han Jin Soo (Korea) & C Blasch (Germany).

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