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England face another bronze-medal game

England face yet another bronze-medal game after losing their Commonwealth Games men’s hockey semi-final 4-1 to Australia.

The English produced a strong second-half rally to pressure the Australians and bring the score to 2-1 with a goal from Harry Martin in the 52nd minute.

But a corner goal from Chris Ciriello in the 62nd minute settled the match with Eddie Ockenden adding a 69th minute breakaway goal when England were playing with a kicking back.

Two early mistakes cost England dearly. Tristan White netted a corner variation after England were dispossessed in attack in the 3rd minute. With the England defence turned around Kieran Govers had found Adam Dixon’s foot in the circle all too easily.

A defensive turnover from Dan Fox produced a fine running backhand goal from Simon Orchard in the 12th minute, leaving England to chase the game for the remainder of the semi-final.

England coach Bobby Crutchley said: “In the first half we were a bit off it for too long and then in the second half we started to get ourselves up for the fight which is what we needed to do.

“Then it showed that we could actually compete and we put them under a bit of pressure but we needed to continue that as they came back at us and showed why they are such a good side.

“The problem is you have to play well against them throughout the whole game, they are a top side and are clinical if you give them a sniff.

“We have to be pleased with some of our play but ultimately we don’t want to run them close, we want to beat them.”

England will play New Zealand in Sunday’s bronze medal match at 10am.

“It is a game to win a medal now and the guys know that,” said Crutchley.”They know the success or failure of this tournament will be based around whether we can get a medal or not.”

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