England turned the heat on Germany to claim their first victory at the 2014 World Championships in Denver.
A final quarter hat-trick by Ady Bennett was the icing on the cake of a morale-boosting victory as England fight for Blue Division survival. Their next opponents are the hot Israeli team who have blasted into contention with a potent States-based squad.
Matt Bagley’s men needed to lift themselves off the canvas after a series of knock-out blows in the elite division and LSM Jak Wawrzyniak got them off to a flyer with slaloming run up field before slamming a shot past the keeper with less than two minutes gone.
Josh Roden doubled the lead with a perfect cut to meet Nick Watson’s feed but Germany fought back with lengthy possessions and Ben McAllister had to be sharp to keep some stinging shots.
Crisp ball movement then freed Glen Humphreys to unleash a thunderbolt to give England a 3-0 lead at the break despite being outshot 15 to 6.
Captain Sam Russell moved into overdrive as the game progressed, directing his troops in a series of set plays that pierced the German defences. A rapid-fire passing move saw Russell blaze a cross-zone pass to Tom Gosnay who finished well on the crease.
Roden got his second in heavy traffic and Aaron Prosser was the chosen one to seal another piece of Russell orchestration. The three goals in six minutes gave a 6-0 half time but the clean sheet went early on in the third when Phillip Broz netted.
England bounced back with goals from Russell and Prosser before the game was illuminated by a snaking run from Sam Patterson who cleared up the danger, evaded the pursuit and held possession until flicking the ball behind his back to connect with Mike Armstrong who fed Alix Davidson to finish off the highlight move.
Chris Brady and Tom Gallon dominated the face-offs to give England a solid platform and Russell continued to pile on the pressure, scoring a blistering shot into the top corner before Brady won the face off cleanly and delivered the ball to Colin Clive who buried another pile driver. 11-1 going into the fourth quarter.
Germany were starved of possession and England capitalised with Russell finding Davidson with a defence-splitting pass and Watson setting up Ady Bennett for a trademark crease finish.
But Germany showed their potential with two strikes to derail the England juggernaut before Bennett reacted quickest when the German keeper parried a shot by poaching the rebound and slotting home.
He completed his hat-trick with just 7 seconds left and England could celebrate a solid win that sets them up for the clash with Israel, which has roster packed with US college lacrosse players, later today.
Scorers: Ady Bennett 3, Alix Davidson 2, Aaron Prosser 2, Josh Roden 2, Sam Russell 2, Tom Gosnay, Glenn Humphreys, Jak Wawrzyniak