THE LOUTH-area’s last remaining London 2012 Olympic medal hope saw his dreams dashed last night as Team GB’s men’s hockey side crashed out in the semi-finals.
A crushing 9-2 defeat to the Netherlands saw Alford’s Glenn Kirkham and his side fail to reach a first final since 1988.
Hopes were high of a final appearance but a mighty Dutch side were rampant, opening up a two goal lead within 15 minutes and a 4-1 lead by half-time.
The Netherlands will face Germany in tomorrow’s final, leaving Team GB to contest the bronze with old enemy Australia on Saturday afternoon.
A shell-shocked Kirkham admitted he was ‘embarrassed’ after the semi-final scoreline.
He said: “It is one of those in the first half you get yourself into a position where you are 4-1 down so early on that you had to go chasing the game after that and you leave yourself open at the back.
“Against a team like the Netherlands, they are so technically gifted that they are going to make the most of any space they have.
“We kept giving them space because we were trying to attack and get back into the game. They kept putting the goals in and you get to the point where you should think ‘when should we shut up shop?’ but that’s not in our nature – we want to win the game whatever the situation.
“The scoreline is embarrassing at the moment and it is something we have to drag ourselves back for the next game, but we did still try and go to play our attacking hockey. It is painful because we thought 6-1 was embarrassing enough.”
And the prospect of an Olympic medal is all the motivation Great Britain need to pick themselves up off the floor according to Kirkham.
He said: “It will be difficult to bounce back but the one blessing is that it is a medal game. If it was a lower-place match that would be different but we still have a chance of winning an Olympic medal.
“It is against Australia who I am sure will be as disappointed as we were because they came into the tournament as favourites.
“It is up to the individuals to sort themselves now and we need to quickly get back on the bandwagon.”
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