Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Commonwealth Games Hockey: England ready for ‘crunch time’ as Wales cast aside

Birmingham — There was some blood, a few ankle injuries but the only sweat was coming from the Welsh as this home nations’ cut and thrust clash saw England coast to a 5-0 victory.

With Mark Hughes’ daughter, Xenna, lining up for Wales, who could expect anything less than a passion-fuelled encounter? But after a bright start from the Welsh, it was England who cut apart their opponents with a display worthy of their desire to play domineering hockey for the full 60 minutes. And without giving away a penalty corner.

A hat-trick from Grace Balsdon (penalty stroke and two corner), a bracing run and finish from Hannah Martin and Giselle Ansley’s corner flick gave England plenty of impetus heading into their semi-final with New Zealand and the chance to atone for a group stage defeat at last month’s World Cup. Balsdon heads to the last four as the top scorer, with six, in the women’s tournament.

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