11 Jul 2011

Black Sticks men make solid start to London Cup build-up

11:05 am on 11 July 2011

First half goals from Phil Burrows, Blair Hilton and Shea McAleese gave the Black Sticks men's hockey team a 3-2 victory and the team's second successive win over the Great Britain Unicorns in another practice match in London.

The win follows New Zealand's 5-4 win against the same side on Sunday.

There were good performances from Canterbury defender Brad Shaw, making a welcome return to form, midfielder and vice captain Shea McAleese, who was involved in all three goals, and the hard-working Otago striker Hugo Inglis.

The Black Sticks was again missing penalty corner striker Andy Hayward through illness (flu) and rested goalkeeper Kyle Pontifex from this morning's match against the Great Britain Unicorns, a team comprised of mostly potential England international players.

The Black Sticks used the two practice matches as an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming London Cup, a four nations tournament also involving England, Korea and Belgium.

The Black Sticks play their opening match at the London Cup against Korea on Wednesday at 12.45am (NZ time).