Bandurak (19, 24 PCs); Condon (48 FG); Ward (57 PS)
Charlet (49 FG)
England’s men won their second game in two days with another super performance against France.
Having won 5-4 in the last minute on Saturday, this time England won more comprehensively; Nick Bandurak scoring twice on his home debut before David Condon and Sam Ward notched. Timothee Charlet had briefly given France hope at 3-1 but they were snuffed out by a confident English team.
With nine goals in two games, interim Head Coach Zak Jones is leading a team in fine form in front of goal, and they served up an excellent show for supporters at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre. Next up is South Africa next Saturday & Sunday and the players go into the games feeling very upbeat.
Starting XI: Payne (GK), Creed, Albery, Sorsby, Smith, Griffiths, Goodfield, Rushmere, Condon, Ward, Ansell
Subs (used): Sloan, Bandurak, Calnan, P Scott, Turner, Ramshaw
Sub (unused): Mazarelo (GK)
The game started with England looking to get in down the sides of France; David Condon and Will Calnan both showing skills to get into good positions that didn’t quite result in chances.
Calnan then did open the French defence up with more 3D skills and was only just wide with a reverse hit. Stuart Rushmere also went close but the first quarter ended goalless.
The deadlock was soon broken though, and Nick Bandurak slammed home a penalty corner for his first England goal on home soil.
Chris Griffiths was then unlucky to see a strike slam into the crossbar, with Calnan only able to put the rebound wide. Soon though England did have a second, Bandurak dragging home a corner off the inside of the post.
England remained in the ascendancy as the second half began, Matt Ramshaw spurning a big chance as he miscued on his backhand. Griffiths soon hit a brilliant effort but the French ‘keeper stood up superbly.
Given France’s comeback heroics on Saturday, with the game 2-0 after 45 minutes one always felt the next goal would be crucial. It went to England as good play down the right allowed David Condon to rifle home nicely.
The French of course dug deep though and scored within a minute as Timothee Charlet turned home to give his side hope.
England though put together a wonderful team move that resulted in Ramshaw being pushed over inside the D, and Sam Ward made no mistake with the penalty stroke.
It concluded another great game of international hockey, and after more than 2.5 years without supporters on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park the men have put on a real show.