By Rod Gilmour on the Gold Coast
Welcome to another dose of live hockey coverage from the Gold Coast Hockey Centre. And we’ve got a cracker for you: Australia men v England. Press F5 for latest updates as we attempt to keep up a very fast-paced match.
FT: AUSTRALIA 2 ENGLAND 1
Cracking second-half but Australia play NZ in the final. England to play India for bronze. Australia clinical with their PC in the end. England were brave and gutsy. Just fell short of a shoot-out.
0: England high ball up field. Last chance saloon. The ball is sent in and goes long. England on their knees. It was 11 on 8 in the last six minutes against the hosts would you believe. But AUSTRALIA INTO SIXTH SUCCESSIVE FINAL.
1: All 11 in Australia’s half. Hosts break, the crowd goes mental. 60 seconds left.
2: Ball ripped into the D from England. No English stick can deflect. Desperate times. Australia survive and wait for the counters.
5: Great skill from Willars to keep the move alive down the right. Path blocked in the D. Time ticking on England. More semi-final curse?
7: PC to England. Gleghorne strikes and it’s blocked. England GK Martin is off for the last seven minutes. All or nothing.
8: Zalewski full of running despite Australia down to 10. Australia holding possession in England’s half.
9: Beale is yellow carded for a technical.
GOAL! Trent Mitton dragflicks high past Pinner. This time it’s in on their third attempt. Referral though but it stands.
11: Whetton more involved now, directing central attacks. PC won by Sharp. Sanford goes early and England down to four on the line. Gleghorne charges down and there’s a bit of argy bargy. Second PC. Goes wide, but it’s a third PC.
13: England to the 23m. Breaks down and Australia are threatening on the counter. Now it’s England into the D, but Ward gets tangled with the ball too close to his body. To foot.
0: Time on the 3rd quarter, but not before another Australian circle entry. Deflected clear. Best 15 mins of the game that and now the two teams are evenly matched.
2: Ansell now handed the green. Moments later Wotherspoon is free but the ball just falls out of his reach. Pinner boots clear. Crutchley looking anxious
5: England have done exceptionally well to bring this one back level. England deep as Australia press though.
7: Australia close again. Pinner on the floor but it’s cleared. Whetton green carded on the run back.
GOAL! Co-captain Sloan for England. Ward on the line, flicks to Ward and easy touch.
— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) April 13, 2018
9: 1st PC for England. Condon to Gleghorne. Too close to keeper and its punched away.
10: ‘C’mon, fellas’ demands Pinner at the back. Australia attack. Mitton breaks finds Craig with one-touch in the D. Pinner is straight out and gets the clearance. Craig goes sprawling.
11: Green card for Willars for obstruction. Slightly more fizz already to this quarter.
15: So, Australia are 30 minutes away from a sixth successive final. England have to make more telling direct attacks. They showed it at the Azlan Shah. They’ve shown it during these Games. But Australia have been equal and more to anything that’s tested them tonight.
— Kookaburras (@Kookaburras) April 13, 2018
0: 1st PC goes to Australia. Doesn’t amount to much and saved by England. There’s another chance as Australia break and this one goes just wide of Gibson’s post.
1: Best chance for England. Ball fizzes in, Sam Ward is down on one knee but the ball deflects wrong side of the post.
2: Australia into the rhythm now. Pressing England back and creating plenty of circle penetration. No spark from Crutchley’s men this half.
5: Crowd are as quiet as the lawn bowls here. On the attack there is a right old cacaphony. Like now. The ball misses two England sticks. Beale shoots, passes Gibson, Weir can’t clear and it gently fades away off the post!
8: Yellow card for Sam Ward. Trent Mitton finds space in the D from two-move pass upfield. Harry Gibson right behind it.
10: Mitton being fed some delightful quick balls in central midfield. Game yet to find its gears.
12: Condon and Ogilvie clash by the Australian D. Mitton temporarily leaves the field, guessing for concussion assessment.
15: Well, it’s all Australia. No threat from England. Australia could be two-up through Wotherspoon.
3: No meaningful strike on target yet by England. Australia coping in defence. Good on the press. Easy for the world champs in this quarter. Jake Whetton green card, two mins.
7: England finding few forays forward and finding a way out of defence. Australia finding the counter and go close past Pinner’s left post through Wotherspoon’s tomahawk.
10: That was Mitten’s fifth of the tournament from 10 attempts. England regroup but what a blow. Classic Australia start.
GOAL! 26 seconds on the clock. Trent Mitton has three around him but he unleashes past Pinner. What a start.
15: We’re off and running.
21:45 Barry Middleton making his 413th combined appearance tonight. He goes 2nd in world caps record list. David Condon makes 100th England appearance.
21:42 Pretty much a full house tonight. Teams lining up ready to go. Brace yourselves.
21:30 World champs Australia haven’t lost to England since 2014 when Sam Ward scored a fine brace in India. They last lost to GB in 2015. Two recent wins in the Azlan Shah give them the favourites’ tag.
Final prep under the lights. pic.twitter.com/5ikbvmd9HC
— The Hockey Paper (@TheHockeyPaper) April 13, 2018
21:20 England have never beaten Australia at the Games, losing three times, including the Glasgow semi-finals. They’ve lost four semi-finals in all. But will be aiming to match NZ by reaching their first final here.
21:05 Push back is at a staggeringly late 2145 local time. Not everyone is best pleased.
21:00 Have we seen the men’s goal of the tournament or is there more to come? Kookaburra Jake Whetton describes his brilliant semi-final goal in the first half against NZ:
“I practice that at home and if you ask the coaches, they’d say they get annoyed at me for doing it, but when it comes off it’s not too bad.”
And now go to the two minute mark below to watch the goal…
20:45 Here’s what England midfielder David Condon had to say ahead of tonight’s meeting
“We know they come out fast. They’re direct and they pressure, but if we stick to our game plan and fix a few things, we should come out on top.”
20:35 A quick check in the archives and you have to back to 2014 for England’s last win over Australia when Sam Ward netted a brace. In GB colours – which essentially is England – and it’s 2015 and a 5-2 win over the green and gold.
20:20 The host nation, meanwhile, will be fully aware that this is flagbearer Mark Knowles’ last tournament before retirement. He has promised to start his new job on Monday at 9am, mentoring athletes at the Queensland Academy of Sport.
20:00 Australia. The Kookaburras. Can anyone stop the green and gold men’s roadshow progressing to a sixth straight final. They are unbeaten for 20 years at the Commonwealths when chasing gold. Standing in their way? England, who have yet to make a gold-medal match. That will be weighing heavily on this fully-funded outfit.