Herbert benefits from Argentina challenge

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The test series, a warm up for next year’s Olympics, has been attracting near capacity crowds of around 4,000 people at the Salta hockey ground in Argentina.

And last night was no different as thousands turned up to watch Argentina, world ranked No 2, record a 2-1 victory over Great Britain to tip the overall series in their favour 3-1.

This follows GB’s opening test win (3-0) in which Herbert featured as a substitute and their 0-0 draw in the second contest in which the Leicester and England player started.

With all players rested for at least one match, Herbert’s break came in the third as her team lost 1-0 following an early goal.

However, the 20-year-old was back in the starting line up in Sunday’s match when GB suffered a 1-0 defeat.

She also started the match last night in which Argentina forged a lead with a strong first half performance.

Great Britain replied with an improved second half display during which they equalised, only for Argentina to go 2-1 up with ten seconds to go following a last minute penalty.

Beckie’s mother, Shelagh, said: ‘The feedback I’ve had from Beckie, prior to her playing last night, is that they’ve all very much enjoyed it.

Beckie’s delighted with how she has played and it’s a great confidence boost if you start a match.

‘It’s been a good exercise and great that they’ve gone in to the matches and been able to compete so closely with Argentina who are the No 2 team in the world – that will be of huge benefit to the team.

‘There are 24 people currently in the GB squad and 21 who were able to travel for this test series but only 16 will go to the Olympics.

It’s very, very hard to read the situation as to whether you are in the running to go because it’s not just about what you are doing it’s about the other team players as well.

‘The demand on energy and concentration is pretty high so there won’t be any GB hockey squad training through December.

There’s a trip planned for February, I think, to go to Australia but I don’t know how many players are being taken or who will be invited to go.’

The Beijing Olympics are on 8-24 August 2008.

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