England in Hot Seat as Gold Hopes Slip Away
The England players spent the halime interval attached to a saline drip, such were the fluid-sapping conditions in the magnificent Commonwealth Games hockey stadium yesterday afternoon.
They may need something a bit stronger tonight after a 2-2 draw with Malaysia result left them in danger of missing the semi-finals. With just 24 hours to recover, they almost certainly need to beat former world champions Pakistan or start packing their bags for home.
Yesterday's Pool B match, however, was always going to be tough. England scored first through Justin Pidcock, before Chairil Anuar Abd Aziz equalised and the crowd smelled the blood of 11 Englishmen.
It seemed they had got it early in the second-half when captain Mirnawan Nawawi scored, but the English finished strongly and a Malaysian defender handled in the area allowing Jon Wyatt to score from the spot.
In the women's hockey, there was a 2-1 win for England against Canada in Pool B, keeping them on course for the semi-finals.
Slough striker Mandy Nicholson's second-half double strike won the game for England. Sutton Coldfield's Jane Sixsmith set her up for her first in the 48th minute and, after Aoibhinn Grimes had grabbed an equaliser, Nicholson snatched a solo winner four m inutes from time.
Wales were 3-0 winners against Namibia, their first win in Pool B. Captain Lynda Watkin fired Wales ahead in the 23rd minute and Justine Williams added a second four minutes later from a penalty corner. Rachel Thomas wrapped up victory ten minutes from t ime from a penalty stroke.
Wales, who lie fifth in the pool, tackle England in their final match today.
England's netball team continued their winning start, scraping a 52-51 win over Jamaica while Wales went down 66-27 against South Africa. On the shooting range, England's Drew Harvey and Andrew Austin missed gold by a point in the men's skeet 110 targets event. Costas Stratis and Antonis Nicholaides, of Cyprus, won with 188 points and Canadian pair Joe Trinci and Douglas McCuthew took bronze.
Shirley McIntosh and Janis Thomson picked up Scotland's third medal, all of which have come in the shooting events, when they won bronze in the women's pairs sport rifle three positions event.
McIntosh and Thomson scored 1,112 points behind golde-medal Canadian pair Christina Ashcroft and Sharon Bowes and Val Martin and Donne Potgieter of South Africa.
It was McIntosh's second medal of the Games, following her bronze in the pairs sport rifle prone with Susan Bell. …