Shoot-out heartache, but Ipswich and England’s Harry Martin wouldn’t change a thing

Mens Hockey World league Final Delhi 2014
Day 5, 17-01-2014
England v New Zealand
Harry Martin

Mens Hockey World league Final Delhi 2014 Day 5, 17-01-2014 England v New Zealand Harry Martin Photo: Grant Treeby / treebyimages - Credit: Grant Treeby i Treebyimages

He suffered shoot-out heartache in Delhi, but brave Harry Martin wouldn’t change a thing.

The former Ipswich School pupil, 21, missed two penalties – one in sudden death – at the Hockey World League semi-final on Saturday as England lost to New Zealand 7-6 – the game finishing 3-3 at full-time.

Martin, who will now look forward to May’s World Cup and July’s Commonwealth Games, battled through the pain barrier to feature in India – the result of a long-standing hamstring problem – but has no regrets.

“It was a bit of a struggle to get fit for most games and I was not in the place I wanted to be in terms of fitness,” said Martin, an economics student at the University of Nottingham.

“Obviously the shoot-out was very disappointing but I have no regrets.

“The coach (Bobby Crutchley) told us who he wanted to take the shots and if it came to a shoot-out situation again I would definitely put myself up there. It’s where you want to be.”

Martin played in the tournament along with another former Ipswich School pupil, George Pinner, who was awarded the Goalkeeper of the Tournament award.

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Pinner, who is six years Martin’s senior, was full of praise for his team-mate and said no blame was laid at the feet of the reigning Suffolk Sports Personality of the Year.

“Everyone is really close in the team,” said Pinner, who took responsibilty for New Zealand’s first goal in normal time.

“I let the first goal go in (against New Zealand) when I was expecting more of a cross than a shot.

“Harry was disappointed but no one blamed him.

“He is only 21 and he had the confidence to step up for the shoot-out. It takes a lot of guts to do what he did.”