The London stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League drew to a close with Australia’s men wrapping up their campaign with a 5-1 drubbing of Great Britain while the Hockeyroos also got the better of the home side.

It was a triumphant finish for China’s women as they ended their tournament with an impressive win over Germany. Spain’s men also head home on a positive note after they claimed a solid victory over Germany.

FIH Hockey Pro League action will resume in the Dutch city of Utrecht on Saturday, 22 June.

(Women’s) China 3 – 1 Germany

China’s campaign came to an end with a stunning 3-1 win over Germany, taking them clear of Australia in fourth place in the standings for now and severely denting any hopes Germany have of catching the Netherlands in top spot. The match kicked off with a tight midfield battle, China setting their defensive structure early and the Germans wary of the threat posed by their counterattack. There were opportunities at both ends and only a 27th-minute field goal from China’s Zhang Ying separated the teams at half time.

The second half belonged to China, and they started by putting the German circle under siege in the opening minutes. Germany survived the onslaught and Lilly Stoffelsma equalised for them with a difficult deflection in the 37th minute. Chen Yi regained the lead for China with a well-executed slip under the shoulder from a crowded p-spot, and she completed the scoring with a penalty stroke in the final minute.

 

Chen Yi was named player of the match for China and said: “This game is our last game in this season so everyone tried their best, nothing left. We will try our best to stand on the podium [at the Olympic Games] in Paris.”

(Women’s) Great Britain 2 – 3 Australia

Lara Roper celebrated her 350th international cap in a losing cause as a clinical Australia wrapped up their tournament with a 3-2 win over hosts Great Britain. GB had a productive first quarter and Grace Balsdon fired them in front with an early drag flick. But Australia responded brilliantly to dominate the second quarter, their aggressive press giving them regular attacking opportunities as they forced GB into a high rate of turnovers. Grace Stewart equalised with a field goal, and a Brooke Peris penalty corner deflection in the 30th minute gave them a well-deserved lead at half time.

The Hockeyroos kept up the pressure into the third quarter, but GB stuck to their task well and Tessa Howard levelled matters with a diving penalty corner deflection in the 39th minute. The home side carried good momentum into the fourth quarter and had the Australians on the back foot for a while, but they failed to take advantage and Rosie Malone snatched the win for the Aussies with a penalty corner deflection with eight minutes remaining.

 

The player of the match went to Karri Somerville of Australia who said: “It was definitely hard, especially at the end to keep them out once we had scored that goal, it was the tough part, but I’m really glad that we came away with the win… We really pride ourselves on our PCD, making sure that we keep them out and even create counter opportunities if we can.”

(Men’s) Germany 2 – 4 Spain

Spain signed off on a high with a convincing 4-2 win over a weary-looking Germany. The Red Sticks started with tremendous energy and were rewarded from a Marc Miralles drag flick in the 9th minute. Germany had a brief spell at the beginning of the second quarter where they picked up their pace and Gonzalo Peillat levelled the scores with a drag flick, but their energy tapered off quickly. Spain then restored their lead just before half time, intercepting a poor pass in midfield and releasing Marc Reyne for the goal.

The Spanish extended their lead in the third quarter when Alvaro Iglesias pounced after Germany failed to control a bouncing ball in their circle. Reyne then rounded off some superb Spanish passing for a field goal in the 48th minute, and although Germany finished strongly for Raphael Hartkopf to score from a tap-in, it was too little too late.

 

Spain’s Rafael Vilallonga was named as the player of the match and said: “I think that we are very good, I’m very happy for the game and also for the team, and this win is good for the preparation for the Olympic Games.”

(Men’s) Great Britain 1 – 5 Australia

Australia concluded their tournament with a convincing 5-1 win over hosts Great Britain in an energetic and physical clash. The match started at a blistering pace with GB creating a half chance, Jake Whetton blasting Australia ahead, and Lee Morton equalising for GB, all within the first two minutes. The Kookaburras then took control for long periods and Jack Welch reclaimed the lead with a 29th-minute drag flick.

The Aussies never let up in the second half and Ky Willott gave them a two-goal cushion with his 35th-minute drag flick. Tom Craig scrambled another over the line as the third quarter ran down, and Willott finished the scoring with a fantastic team goal in the 51st minute. Australia currently sit top of the standings and are guaranteed of at least third place, but their focus now will be on getting home to finish their preparations for Paris.

 

The player of the match was awarded to Tom Craig who said: “It feels pretty good I think, especially a team like GB, they’ve come a long way in the last few years and they’re playing some really quality hockey so a good performance like that is definitely pleasing with a big year.”

Top Scorer Armband

To celebrate the talented goal-scorers throughout the season the FIH has introduced the Top Scorer Armband, which is being worn by the leading goal-scorers in the men's and women's competitions in the current season, as a visual mark for the fans, and for the players to wear proudly, match after match.

Current Top Scorers:

Women - Yibbi Jansen (NED) (15 goals)

Men – Blake Govers (AUS) / Jip Janssen (NED) / Harmanpreet Singh (IND) (12 goals)

 

To see the current standings in the FIH Hockey Pro League, click here.

 

FIH Hockey Pro League – 12 June 2024

Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, London (UK)

WOMEN

Result: Match 63 (W)

China 3 - 1 Germany

Player of the match: Chen Yi (CHN)

Umpires: Laurine Delforge (BEL), Ivona Makar (CRO), Cookie Tan (SGP-video)

Result: Match 64 (W)

Great Britain 2 - 3 Australia

Player of the match: Karri Somerville (AUS)

Umpires: Magali Sergeant (BEL), Cookie Tan (SGP), Laurine Delforge (BEL-video)

MEN

Result: Match 63 (M)

Germany 2 - 4 Spain

Player of the match: Rafael Vilallonga (ESP)

Umpires: Martin Madden (SCO), Sébastien Michielsen (BEL), Michiel Otten (NED-video)

Result: Match 64 (M)

Great Britain 1 - 5 Australia

Player of the match: Tom Craig (AUS)

Umpires: Michiel Otten (NED), Coen Van Bunge (NED), Sébastien Michielsen (BEL-video)