International Masters Hockey - Update 3
Fitzy continues his dual role as player and commentator at the International Masters Hockey tournament in Hong Kong.
Over 45s v Austria:
After having watched Austria put England under lots of pressure and looking like pulling off an unlikely win the Aussie boys were under no illusions that they would be in for a tough match.
European hockey is a very different style to Oz hockey. They like to get as many players behind the ball as possible and play very much a one on one style trying to create overlaps. The Austrian’s (in the older buggers at least) play one very high forward marking the back full back and looking to isolate him as much as possible. The team will look for him hoping for a one on one or a miss-trap, which will see him in the circle playing for a short corner. Then scoring from that short corner. This strategy worked well against the English before the English were able to over run the Austrians in the last few minutes of their match.
The Australian strategy was to have Mick Irby marking the high man with the higher players cutting off the direct line to the high forward. The strategy worked well with Bott having a man of the match performance. However the Austrian defence was proving as tough to penetrate.
Half time score Nil – Nil.
The pace was quite slow but very structured and the second half saw the Aussies putting more pressure on the black and whites. A move down the left starting with Phil Price saw Fitzpatrick with the ball on the baseline. A pass back to Greg Johnson on the top of the circle drew a couple of defenders which left Pete Cummings in 5 yards of space on the left. His shot from 12 metres left the goal keeper with no chance.
The Aussies continued to press but were unable to put the Austrians away. A conceded short corner with 3 minutes left gave a few heart palpitations but we were able to keep them out and come away with a deserved 1 nil win.
We will play the Austrians in one semi on Friday while England will play Hong Kong in the other.
Over 40's Rest Day.