RISING STAR: Germany's Christopher Rühr
RISING STAR: Germany's Christopher Rühr
(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

Germany and The Netherlands were the two big winners at the ERGO Hamburg Masters, with both teams finishing unbeaten in a tournament that was seen as crucial in their build-up to next month’s TriFinance EuroHockey Championships. London 2012 Olympic gold medallists Germany were crowned as champions of the Round Robin event on goal difference after both they and The Netherlands finished with two wins and a draw apiece.  

On Saturday, Germany inflicted a second successive 6-1 defeat on England, who were beaten by the same score-line by The Netherlands on Friday. The Olympic champions and world number 1 ranked team were in ruthless form, with Oskar Deecke, Mats Gambusch, Florian Fuchs, Marco Miltkau (2), and Pilt Arnold doing the damage.  England’s only goal of the game came from captain Barry Middleton in the 55th minute, but with four goals already to their name, a German victory was inevitable. “It was clear to see that Germany were the better team”, said England coach Bobby Crutchley after the match. “Our individual hockey just wasn’t good enough, and we lost the one on one battles across the pitch.”

The Netherlands were also winners on Saturday, cruising to a 4-0 win over an Ireland that had lost 6-0 to Germany on Friday. Constantijn Jonker was the star of the show, netting a brilliant hat-trick with penalty corner ace Mink van der Weerden also getting his name on the score-sheet. Prior to the match, Mitch Darling was given deserved recognition for achieving his 100th senior international cap.

The final matches took place on Sunday, with Ireland and England taking to the field ahead of the mouth-watering meeting between Germany and The Netherlands, the reigning Olympic Gold and Silver medallists from London 2012.  

England ended their tournament on a high by recording a narrow 3-2 win over Ireland thanks to a 65th minute penalty corner from Nick Catlin. The result ensured a third place finish for England, with Ireland fourth.

The final match of the tournament was a thrilling meeting between two of the best teams in the game, and the two sides could not be separated. The Netherlands drew first blood when Mink van der Weerden netted a penalty corner in the 26th minute only for Germany to pull level thanks to a PC from Thilo Stralkowski. The scores remained locked together for the majority of the game, but when Sander Baart netted two minutes from time it seemed that The Netherlands would claim the win. However, Germany tied the game in the final seconds when dazzling 19 year old Christopher Rühr fired home to continue his growing reputation as one of the most exciting young players in the game.  


ERGO Hamburg Masters 2013 results

Date       Fixture                                   Result

25 July 2013

12:00      Netherlands - England       6-1

15:00      Germany - Ireland               6-0

27 July 2013

14:00      Netherlands - Ireland          4-0

16:30      England - Germany            1-6   

28 July 2013

11:30      Ireland - England                2-3

14:00      Germany - Netherlands     2-2


Final tournament standings
1: Germany
2: Netherlands
3: England
4: Ireland