Hockey: Mason keeps Britain afloat: Brilliance of Firebrands keeper preserves lingering medal hopes

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The Independent Online
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Spain. . . . . . . . .1

SIMON MASON was Britain's saviour as they claimed their first point in the Champions' Trophy, against Spain here yesterday, writes Bill Colwill from Lahore.

The 20-year-old Firebrands goalkeeper made two brave saves from penalty corners just before the interval to keep the first half goalless, then in the 61st minute he made a brilliant high-hand save from Javier Arnau's penalty stroke.

Spain took the lead five minutes into the second half after David Freixa had worked the ball to Arnau. The arrival of Don Williams had an immediate effect, though. He finished a splendid move between Russell Garcia and Phil McGuire for the 48th-minute equaliser.

The game appeared to be drifting towards a draw when Matt Sutton, Rob Thompson and Williams were sent off temporarily in the 29th minute, all for different incidents. For five minutes the eight fought to maintain a glimmer of hope of playing for the bronze medal if they beat the Netherlands today.

GREAT BRITAIN: S Mason (Firebrands); P Bolland (Hounslow), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), J Laslett (Teddington), Soma Singh (Southgate), M Sutton (Bournville), C Mayer (Cannock), J Shaw (capt, Southgate), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), S Nicklin (Teddington), R Thompson (Hounslow). Substitutes used: R Davies (Harleston Magpies), P McGuire (Teddington), R Crutchley (Hounslow), D Williams (Havant).

SPAIN: R Jufresa; R Sala, J Amat, J Ejarque, P Usoz, V Pujol, J-A Dinares, J-R Garcia Maurino (capt), J Escarra, D Freixa, X Malihe. Substitutes used: O Barrena, P Garcia, J Arnau, J Guerrero.

Umpires: P Von Reth (Neth), G Belder (Aus).