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Commonwealth Games Hockey: England defeated New Zealand on penalties to reach the final

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England beat New Zealand in a penalty shoot-out and remain on course to win a first-ever Commonwealth Games gold in women’s hockey in Birmingham.

Isabelle Petter and Hannah Martin scored in the shoot-out when goalkeeper Maddie Hinch couldn’t be beaten with a series of brilliant saves.

The two sides couldn’t be separated in 60 minutes of intense hockey and played out a goalless draw, just like they did in the bronze medal game in Australia four years ago.

On that occasion, New Zealand won the penalty shootout to reach the gold medal game and the Black Sticks also defeated England in a 3-1 win at the World Cup last month.

Hinch said: “It’s fairy tale stuff for us to come here and find ourselves in the finals.

“This is a tremendously important step for us to believe and see what we are capable of. It was a great semi-final, I’m just so happy for the team.

When asked about penalties, Hinch added: “I absolutely love them. You gotta, you know it’s gonna be a tough gig.

“As a goalkeeper, you often pick the ball out of the net quite unforgivingly.

“These are the moments to really demonstrate the position and I’m trying to inspire as many people as possible to wear these weird looking outfits and be the hero for a few minutes.”

The opening exchanges were played at a furious pace with chances on both sides.

Giselle Ansley drove wide from an English penalty corner but Hinch was soon the busier of the two goalkeepers.

Hinch made a clever double save and had to be alert again after England gifted possession to Tessa Jopp.

England’s Lily Owsley (left) misses her penalty in a penalty shootout against New Zealand (David Davies/PA)

(PA wire)

Holly Hunt went narrowly towards the hosts but the first half turned into a shady affair with neither side able to dominate.

England came close when Sophie Hamilton sent a fierce cross over the goal, but no one was there to deflect the ball home.

Hinch maintained a solid barrier in the third quarter to save two New Zealand penalty corners and the PA speaker system blared ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’.

England took control in the final quarter and Ansley failed at consecutive penalty corners while skipper Hollie Pearne-Webb saved a follow-up attempt from Black Sticks goalkeeper Grace O’Hanlon.

Anna Toman also saw her efforts overdone and Shona McCallin missed the mark as the impasse refused to be broken.

Five tries were lost on penalties before Petter converted.

By the time Martin’s shot crossed the line, England’s women were just one win away from breaking their gold medal duck at the Commonwealth Games.

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/commonwealth-games/hockey-england-new-zealand-maddie-hinch-b2139265.html Commonwealth Games Hockey: England defeated New Zealand on penalties to reach the final

Fry Electronics Team

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