A derby game hundreds of miles from home with the atmosphere of Cardiff! That was what opened up Day 2 of the Belfius EuroHockey Nations Championships in Antwerp.
Wales said before the event that they were aiming to win it, drawing a few puzzled looks but for those who know hockey this was no laughing matter. The Welsh men have been steadily raising their game and it remains a mystery to many why so few are in the GB squad.
From the first whistle the Dragons made it clear they came to win, not to be here just for the experience. Bolstered by a raucous crowd the Welsh had the best of the first quarter, really scaring the English defence but not able to win any clear cut chances.
England took the lead when an unmarked Sam Ward was able to steady himself and get a hard strike away to take the lead. However Wales struck back six minutes later and levelled through an excellent drag flick from Gareth Furlong.
England looked confident of a second and were steadily entering the final third but not getting much in the way of clear cut chances. Then drama struck as Rhodri Furlong made it a family affair and scored with a deflection off an English foot. Now with only eight minutes remaining the Welsh were in the lead and England were suddenly under a lot more pressure.
Off came George Pinner and the English piled forward. Pressure eventually told with two minutes remaining, James Gall confirming the points were shared.
This was a game where anyone who’s not paid attention would have been surprised to see Wales do well but ultimately both sides will be disappointed with a draw.