Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Commonwealth Games Hockey: England men set up Australia clash after red card brawl

Birmingham — The Red Caribou lived up to their nickname on Thursday as England men set up a semi-final showdown with rivals Australia – unbeaten since 1998 in Commonwealth hockey – following an 11-2 win over Canada. It was a match marred by a 15-man brawl, a rare red card while Nick Bandurak netted his 11th goal of the competition.

A high-paced and physical final pool stage match, all it takes is one small moment to ignite in this sport. And it occurred with seconds remaining of the first-half when red was brandished at Balraj Panesar, who plays for East Grinstead, after grabbing Chris Griffiths’ throat.

“It was honestly the weirdest game I have ever played in,” said captain Zach Wallace, who was in early to break up a full-scale brawl, “a mix of them going down to 10 players so early on and us having to score loads of goals.”

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