Sports

CWG HOCKEY: GOLD FOR AUSTRALIA; SILVER FOR INDIA AND BRONZE FOR ENGLAND

August 09, 2022 08:40 AM

BIRMINGHAM: In the 2022 Commonwealth Games hockey final Australia put on a goal scoring clinic, brushing India aside as they struck gold with a 7-0 margin and England out-scored South Africa by 6-3in a breathless bronze medal match, repors FIH.

Australia 7 India 0 (Gold medal match men)

A rampant Australia brushed aside India to keep up their 100 percent Commonwealth Games gold medal streak.

Australia began the first quarter with a spell of early pressure as they looked to win an astonishing seventh gold medal in a row. After 9 minutes it was the ever-dangerous Blake Govers that opened the scoring in the final, firing home from a penalty corner. With just a minute left in the opening 15 Nathan Ephraums doubled the Kookaburras lead, rounding out a dominant first period for Australia.

The Aussies continued their relentless pressure into the second quarter, looking to dominate their Asian opponents. After 22 minutes the lead was suddenly 3-0 when Jacob Anderson scored from a penalty corner. Just 5 minutes later Australia found their 4th without reply as Tom Wickham fired in. Anderson’s second of the period increased the lead to 5-0 by half-time. A devastating first 30 saw Australia have one hand on the trophy, while India had a mountain to climb to get back into the tie.

As was the theme of the match the third quarter was again one-sided, as the Kookaburras saw attack as the best form of defence, creating multiple opportunities. Only 1 further goal was added, thanks to Ephraums 3 minutes before the final break.

Australia were 7-up inside a minute of the final quarter, Flynn Ogilvie with the strike. The Kookaburras did continue to create more opportunities to extend a big lead even further, but the busy PR Sreejesh in the Indian goal managed to make the saves required to avoid further damage. As the hooter brought the curtain down on the hockey at the 2022 Commonwealth Games it was seven-heaven for the Kookaburras, 7 final goals securing a 7th consecutive gold medal as their utter dominance of the tournament and final was written into the history books.

Edward Ockenden (AUS): "It was a fantastic game. We played really well.”

"I'm really proud of the team and proud of the effort. With the chances we created today we were always going to score a few more goals, and it was really impressive to see from the back."

Aran Zalewski (AUS): "We really enjoy coming to the Commonwealth Games. They are harder than you think to win.”

"We have won seven, but it's not as simple as coming out here and winning. There are so many challenges that go into winning a tournament of hockey. You have so many round games, semi-finals, finals; there's challenges with that.”

"Playing against England two days ago, that was a really tight game. Down 2-0 we had to show a lot of resilience. It doesn’t always go your way, and we had to find a way sometimes. We did that throughout the tournament.”

"We'll head down the pub for a few beers and sherbets, and carry on a little bit, but really just to enjoy each other's company."

England 6 South Africa 3 (Bronze medal match men)

England, buoyed by a loud home crowd, beat South Africa in a high-scoring affair to earn the bronze medal.

The first quarter was tense, as both sides looked to work each other out. South Africa had the opening couple of chances, Keenan Horne and Daniel Bell seeing efforts blocked and saved by a firm English defence. As England pushed-back Commonwealth Games top-scorer Nicholas Bandurak had a goal disallowed after just over 10 minutes. A tight opening quarter eventually ended goalless.

The second period of this game turned out to be a contender for the most entertaining of the whole tournament. The carnage began when after 18 minutes Matthew Guise-Brown scored from a penalty corner. England responded straight away, with a first ever international goal from Rhys Smith.

South Africa were ahead again in the blink of an eye, as Mustapha Cassiem slotted past England keeper Oliver Payne. Once again it was a rapid response from England, who equalised for the second time in the quarter via cracking strike from Liam Ansell. A great referral from England skipper Zachary Wallace won his side a penalty corner with 5 minutes left of the period, and Samuel Ward cashed in, putting the hosts 3-2 ahead. The game’s sixth goal came on the stroke of half-time, as Nqobile Ntuli restored parity between the sides. A remarkable quarter ended with the scores tied at 3-3.

The players emerged from a well-earned half-time break and a far quieter period ensued. England were temporarily down to 10 after a green card but South Africa could not capitalise. Instead, England took the lead once again, a powerful strike from Phillip Roper 5 minutes from the final break. Despite some late pressure from the hosts the players took their final break with the score 4-3, and the destination of the bronze medal far from decided.

In the last 15 of hockey for both sides in this year’s games it was England that drew first blood, Roper getting the final touch following a Sam Ward shot. With 5 minutes to go, trailing by 2 goals, South Africa committed to 11 outfield players as they looked to claw themselves back into medal contention. However, with 90 seconds left on the clock England’s Wallace tucked home a penalty stroke to wrap up a 6-3 win, and the bronze medal, for the hosts.

Phillip Roper (ENG): “It feels pretty special right now. It’s a really special changing room we have got, and to come away with something is the icing on the cake.”

Zachary Wallace (ENG): “I am absolutely buzzing. It’s my first senior medal and it has felt like a hell of a long time coming.”

In the last 15 of hockey for both sides in this year’s games it was England that drew first blood, Roper getting the final touch following a Sam Ward shot. With 5 minutes to go, trailing by 2 goals, South Africa committed to 11 outfield players as they looked to claw themselves back into medal contention. However, with 90 seconds left on the clock England’s Wallace tucked home a penalty stroke to wrap up a 6-3 win, and the bronze medal, for the hosts.

“Over [the course of] this tournament, everyone has seen that this group is on the right path.”

“I really feel we are going places, and everyone has got a taste of the medal success.”

David Condon (ENG): "We came here to be on the podium. On a personal level I didn't get picked for Tokyo [2020 Olympic Games] so I was gutted about that. But I've been training with this moment in mind, so now it happened I'm really emotional. I cried out there."

Tim Drummond (RSA): "Besides being tired? I'm proud. This is an exceptionally proud moment for the whole group. We didn't get the medal but, for a bit of perspective, we have come a long way since February when we were conceding a lot of goals and losing many games to some of these top teams.”

"We have a lot to be proud of and a lot to work on, going forward to the World Cup."

Gowan Jones (RSA): "It was tough out there. The English guys played a structured game – they move the ball really fast.”

"It was good for three-quarters of the game, and then they got the better of us at the end."

 
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