The Sultan Azlan Shah Cup has been completed recently in Ipoh, Malaysia. The tournament had some spectacular performances from the teams and it was a great way to see which teams were performing in their preparation for the London 2012 Olympics.
New Zealand finished the round games on top of the ladder with a guaranteed match in the grand final. The remaining place was to be taken by either Great Britain or Argentina. Argentina managed to gain a 1-0 win in their last round match to ensure a berth in the grand final, much to the disappointment of the Great Britain team. Gryphon ambassador, James Tindall sustained an ankle injury early in the tournament and was resigned to watch the majority of the tournament from the sideline. We wish him the best of luck with his recovery and hope to see him up and about ready for London.
The final match between Argentina and New Zealand was as ferocious as expected, with neither team willing to give away anything easily. Argentina had some chances, but fortunately for New Zealand, Gryphon champs Simon Child, Stephen Jenness and Matt L’huillier (pictured above) repeatedly kept them in the game. The final score was 1-0 from a converted penalty corner mid way through the first half.
The bronze medal play-off between Great Britain and India proved to be another cracker, with India coming back from a one goal deficit to surge to a 3-1 victory. Playing their traditional fast counter attacking game, the Indian team proved that they will be a strong chance for grabbing some points off the top teams. The play-off for fifth position was between Korea and Malaysia, resulting in a close battle with Korea coming off slightly better with the 3-2 scoreline. Pakistan were resigned to take the wooden spoon.
This tournament was largely successful with some solid teams, most of who will be performing in the London Olympics. New Zealand have begun to hit their straps and will be a tough opponent for any team they come up against. Keep a close lookout on Simon Child, Stephen Jenness and Matt L’huillier as they dominate the blue pitch with their Gryphon sticks, and also watch out for James Tindall as he comes back from injury with the home field advantage that the London Olympics will give!
FINAL POINTS LADDER