Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Australia land final blow as England edged out of Commonwealth hockey gold

Birmingham — How to topple Australia’s stranglehold on Commonwealth gold? Play them at their own game. That was England’s ploy here. Except they went one step further as they played a brutish, physical hand against the perennial holders to put the Kookaburras off their stride before being pegged back and falling short of a first Commonwealth final.

This was electric fare as Phil Roper, with a delicious forehand, and captain Zach Wallace, from a penalty stroke, eked out a 2-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes amid cards, free-hit loitering and Saturday night collisions, which disrupted world No 1 Australia’s rhythm and calm heads.

The umpires were worked hard all night, while England were lucky not to receive more card counts. In the end, though, Australia delivered the knock-out blow and left the field with a seventh successive final berth, against India on Monday, and 38 successive winning matches under their belt in a pulsating 3-2 win, the winner disputed by England and the vociferous 6,000 inside the university grounds.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The video referee must have been the only person in the stadium and on Tv who thought the ball had been stopped- what did he look at

    • Definitely gained an advantage and made no attempt to play a stationary ball! Unbelievable decision! I called it as soon as it happened and expected the goal to be disallowed! Staggering decision!

  2. England’s best performance for a long time and could have been deserved winners but for the chronic weakness in converting PCs, evident for many years. No variations to keep the defence guessing, too many flicks straight at the GK or missing the goal.

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