Hat-trick from Garcia gives Britain heart for Barcelona

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The Independent Online
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Italy 0 Great Britain 5

Great Britain completed a second victory against Italy in Cagliari, Sardinia, yesterday as they continued their preparations for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Barcelona at the end of the month, writes Bill Colwill.

If the result was expected the game, too, followed the pattern of its predecessor, with Britain slow to spark. Only when Chris Mayer was chopped down in the 23rd minute did they ignite. Russell Garcia collected the first of his three penalty corner goals from the resulting award as Calum Giles slipped him the ball.

Ten minutes into the second half, Giles converted another corner with a direct strike before, two minutes later, Danny Hall claimed his first goal for Great Britain, picking up a long through ball from Julian Halls which had split open the home defence.

By now the Italians were massed in defence and under constant pressure they conceded further penalty corners, with Garcia's shot from the ninth being deflected into the roof of the net. From the next award he latched on to Giles' pass to complete his hat-trick.

Next weekend Britain complete their preparations when they play Malaysia, one of their opponents in Barcelona, twice at Bisham Abbey. In Rome over the weekend, the Netherlands and Belgium, two other opponents, drew 2- 2, with the Dutch winning the second game 3-1.

ITALY: H Ragni; S Bertini; H Ranzoni, J Dallari, A Apastori; G Bacchi, R Giulviani (capt), G-P Lanzano; F Dubois, S Hedda, A Raggio. Substitutes used: G-L Cirilli, A Tului, H Lanzano, L Dello-Nonaghe, A Leone.

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

Umpires: A Salaris (Italy), C Madden (Scotland).

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