Friday, October 8, 2010

Glynn hammers hat-trick for New Zealand

Katie Glynn scored a hat-trick on Friday to guide New Zealand into the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games women's hockey competition with a 4-1 win over England.

South Africa held defending champion Australia to a 1-1 and also moved atop Pool A.

England opened the scoring via Ashleigh Ball in the 14th minute before Glynn took over with some brilliant stick work inside the striking circle.

Samantha Harrison got the equalizer in the 25th minute and just before halftime Glynn ran into the striking circle, dived in front of goalkeeper Beth Storry and scored off a reverse stick for a 2-1 lead.

Glynn twice broke through the England defense in the second half to complete her deserved hat-trick.

"We wanted to play aggressively," Glynn said.

"I got a couple of good balls which I put through, but I think it was a good team performance."

England has six points and is expected to make it to the last four with a match against Malaysia, but Friday's result was a letdown for Ball.

"It's really disappointing as they made their chances count in the second half and made us pay for that," she said.

New Zealand which has nine points from three victories will meet Canada in its last Pool B game on Saturday.

In the first match, Hockeyroos went ahead through Ashleigh Nelson's eighth-minute field goal which was equalized by South Africa's Sulette Damons in the 31st. However, both teams defended well in the second half to settle for a draw.

"It was really hot, but I actually felt really good," Damons said.

"It was a tough match and I think anyone could have taken it towards the end."

South Africa and Australia have virtually booked places in the semifinals with seven points each, but South Africa has an advantage with a superior goal difference.

"We are going to gain a bit of momentum and doesn't matter who we play (in semifinals) because we have a tough match ahead," Australia's Jade Taylor.

Australia plays against Scotland on Saturday while South Africa takes on India.

"We just need one more point to qualify," South African captain Marsha Mareschia said. "We have a long history with India and it will be more of a mind game than a tactical one."

On a busy Friday in the hockey competition, India plays against Trinidad and Tobago and Wales will be up against Canada in the women's matches.

The two men's matches are: South Africa vs. Trinidad and Tobago and Malaysia vs. Scotland.

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