Belfius EuroHockey Championships
Germany 9 (T Herzbruch 3, N Wellen 2, F Fuchs, M Grambusch, C Ruhr, M Haner) Scotland 0

Timm Herzbruch’s hat trick saw a sparkling Germany ease to a big win over Scotland in the opening game of Pool B in the men’s competition.

Germany raced into a 4-0 half-time lead with Herzbruch opening the scoring inside eight minutes before Niklas Wellen, Mats Grambusch and Florian Fuchs weighed in. Furrther second half goals from Wellen and Herzbruch gave them the perfect start to the competition

It took eight minutes for Herzbruch to break the deadlock, nicking the ball off the last defender and unleashing a rocket reverse-stick shot for 1-0.

Niklas Wellen added a beauty just over a minute later, again on the backhand, with his back to goal from a direct pass into the D off a turnover.

Tommy Alexander made some excellent saves in the half while Alan Forsyth took a drag-flick off the line but it only temporarily slowed the first half goals. Tom Grambusch’s drag-flick was charged down only for Mats Grambusch to be in position to pick up the pieces. And it was 4-0 by half-time when Florian Fuchs got into on the act.

Wellen added another four minutes into the second half from another speedy attack and Herzbruch got his second from a switch left from a penalty corner.

Herzbruch completed his hat trick with 11 minutes to go with a lovely touch to Lukas Windfeder’s powerful smack from the right of the circle. Christopher Ruhr and Marthin Haner added late corner goals to stretch the lead to 9-0.

“The first game in the tournament is always difficult, you don’t know how good you are or the opponents,” Haner said of the win, delighted with the performance.

“We do know that if we play our best hockey, we will against Scotland. We played 60 minutes at a very high level. You can put yourself under pressure if you don’t win your first game and we saw the match before, England v Wales, end in a draw.

“Not many people would have seen that coming. Playing against a side defending deep, it can be difficult to score but we were focused from the first minute.”

And he believes his side is hitting a higher level than they did earlier in the year when they struggled to put together a decent run in the Pro League.

“I think the whole team is in good form. Coming from the Pro League where we changed the team a lot, giving a lot of players a trial, now we have the same squad together for the last couple of weeks and it shows. We are much stronger and every individual looks better if the team is playing better.”

Umpires: B Bale (ENG), M Gholami-Eilmer (AUT)

Germany – Scotland
8’ Timm Herzbruch (FG) 1-0
9’ Niklas Wellen (FG) 2-0
25’ Mats Grambsch (PC) 3-0
28’ Florian Fuchs (FG) 4-0
34’ Niklas Wellen (FG) 5-0
40’ Timm Herzbruch (PC) 6-0
49’ Timm Herzbruch (FG) 7-0
53’ Christopher Ruhr (PC) 8-0
55’ Martin Haner (PC) 9-0