Great Britain finished a frustrating final pre-Olympic tournament by beating Ireland 3-0 in the Investec London Cup yesterday.
Leicester forward Hannah McLeod scored twice in the first half, while Emily Maguire of Reading added a third from a penalty corner after half-time as Britain won the play-off for fifth place in Chiswick.
Before the match, there were celebrations for Macleod’s Leicester teammate Anne Panter, who made her 50th appearance in the colours of Great Britain, and for Reading’s former Glasgow Western midfielder Laura Bartlett, who made her 100th international appearance, combining her 43 GB caps with 57 for Scotland.
In the absence of Helen Richardson, who sat the match out with a hamstring injury, Reading goalkeeper Beth Storry captained Great Britain for the first time saying, “To captain GB is an incredible honour. You never think you’ll get to captain because we’ve got such a great captain in Kate [Walsh].
“We’ve got incredible experience, it’s a great group of girls. I see the work they put in on the pitch. I see that work rate and I see the moments of magic we can create. We just need to make those moments longer.
“It was so good to have the support of the crowd here. It’s lovely to have people come up to you and tell you they’re supporting you this summer.”
However afterwards, Great Britain Head Coach Danny Kerry admitted his side could have won by more, “To be frank I’m disappointed today.
“Our skill execution was poor and we really should have put them to the sword. Yes we’re missing a few influential players but it should have been a cricket score.
“I’m sure it seems strange that I spoke after the Germany game [on Thursday when GB lost 2-1] and was really pleased with how we’d played and today we’ve won and I’m disappointed. We were sloppy in our execution at the end of the first half and it just wasn’t up to the required standard of execution and concentration.
“If we play like that against Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, China we’ll be punished.
The result means Ireland finish in sixth position overall while Great Britain take the fifth spot.
The Netherlands beat Australia 4-1 in the final, with captain Maartje Paumen getting two of the goals, and in the third place play-off, Janine Beermann scored twice as Germany defeated South Africa 6-2.
Great Britain’s athletes will now undertake a recovery week before returning to training for the final run-in to the London 2012 Olympic Games which begins 29 July in the Riverbank Arena of the Olympic Park.
Lizzie Flint, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine