Hockey: British pride bruised by Arnau: Nicklin provides the only respite against rampant Spanish while Ipswich entertain Hightown hopes

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The Independent Online
XAVIER ARNAU, Spain's 21-year- old striker, completed his second hat-trick of the 16th PIA Champions' Trophy in Lahore yesterday as Great Britain sank to new depths - losing 4-2 to finish in bottom place.

In the 30th minute the Spanish substitute, Juan Lecarre, brushed aside Jason Laslett to set Arnau up for the opening goal. Within five minutes of the interval, Britain were on terms. Rob Thompson, taking a through ball from John Shaw, was floored at the edge of the circle by the Spanish goalkeeper, Ramon Sala, with Simon Nicklin coolly converting the penalty stroke.

Spain charged back on to the attack and in a devastating six minutes had taken the score to 4-1, Arnau completing his hat-trick and also setting up a goal for Pablo Garcia. . With 10 minutes remaining, a quick exchange between Thompson and Don Williams brought a second goal for Britain, but the damage had already been done.

GREAT BRITAIN: D Luckes (East Grinstead); P Bolland (Hounslow), P McGuire; J Laslett (both Teddington), Soma Singh (Southgate), S Nicklin (Teddington); D Williams (Havant), J Shaw (Southgate, capt), R Thompson (Hounslow), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), R Davies (Harleston Magpies). Substitutes used: C Mayer (Cannock), B Crutchley (Hounslow).

SPAIN: R Jufresa; R Sala; J Amat, J Ejarque, P Usoz; P Garcia, I A Dinares, J R Garcia Maurino (capt); X Arnau, D Freixa, R Moline. Substitutes used: F J Guerrero, J Escarre, O Barrena.

Umpires: M Rehman and R Khan (both Pakistan).

Pakistan took their first major title for 10 years when they won the Champions' Trophy before 60,000 supporters yesterday. They came from behind with goals from Muhammad Shafqat and Shahbaz Ahmed to lead Germany 2-1 before Florian Kunz scored a late equaliser. Christian Mayerhofer then blasted over the bar for Pakistan to win the penalty shoot-out 7-6.

PIA CHAMPIONS TROPHY (Lahore): Final positions: 5/6th: Great Britain 2, Spain 4. 3/4th: Netherlands 2, Australia 2 (Netherlands won 8-7 aps). Final: Pakistan 2, Germany 2 (Pakistan won 7-6 aps).

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