Team GB's women set for bronze medal match after defeat to the Dutch

Hannah Martin. Credit Great Britain Hockey

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Maidenhead’s Hannah Martin promised that Team GB’s women would come out fighting in Friday’s bronze medal match after their disappointing 5-1 defeat to the Netherlands this morning.

Unlike the 2016 Olympic final, which went Team GB’s way thanks to the excellence of Maddie Hinch in a dramatic penalty shootout, the Dutch controlled the game from the start and scored four goals before Britain mustered a consolation, through another Madonian Giselle Ansley. Hopes of a comeback already looked slim, but they were extinguished when Frederique Matla scored a fifth goal to confirm Dutch dominance.

The Dutch took the lead in the second quarter through Felice Albers and doubled their advantage less than 60 seconds later to give themselves a stranglehold on the contest going into half-time. Two further goals from Marloes Verschoor and Albers again extended their advantage before Ansley flicked home a consolation from a penalty corner. Matla then wrapped up the scoring for the Dutch in the 49th minute.

After the match, Martin said: “We’re disappointed. We wanted to keep it tight for as long as we could but unfortunately those two goals came in quick succession. We knew we could bring it back, but it wasn’t to be today.

“I think there wasn’t enough sustained pressure, we knew if we could keep getting at them then they would go in, but we just didn’t quite do that today. I’m bitterly disappointed but we’ll come out fighting for that bronze medal.

“I think we always believe we can get back into a game. We said to take it one goal at a time, we were really pleased with Giselle’s brilliant flick and thought we could get a couple more. But as I said, it was disappointing and it’s gutting to be in this position, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and fight for that bronze.

“No excuses today. They’re a very strong team, we know that, but we’re disappointed to not get a result.”

Maddie Hinch added: “We need to look at what we got wrong today but also believe that we’re still a good side and that there’s a reason we’re fighting for a medal here – we haven’t done that by luck. We just need to believe that we’ll come home with it and not overthink this too much, they’re an unbelievable side who will punish you if you get things wrong. It’s a learning and it wasn’t our day today.

“Their goals today were world class, and you sometimes have to just say “you know what, they were better than us today and that’s that”.

“We just weren’t quite there today. It just wasn’t from any lack of effort; it just wasn’t our day.

“We’ve got to be proud of why we’re here, why we’re fighting for a medal in the first place and believe we can do it. That’s one thing we learned from Rio. It’s the power of belief, the togetherness, and the ability for everyone to play their part to get there because whoever we play next, it’s going to be tough.

“Given the whole cycle, Covid-19, a change of coaches, there’s so much this group has been through so the bronze would be massive for us.”

The Netherlands will play either Argentina or India in Friday’s gold medal match, 11am UK time, with Team GB to take on the loser of that game in the bronze medal match at 2.30am UK time.

The British team included several Maidenhead residents, including Ellie Rayer, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Maddie Hinch and Giselle Ansley.