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Commonwealth Games: England women beat Australia to win first ever hockey gold


England won the hockey bronze on the Gold Coast four years ago
Hosts: Birmingham Dates: July 28 to August 8
Cover: Watch live on BBC TV with additional streams on BBC iPlayer, the Red Button, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport mobile app. Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra. live text and clips online.

England’s women’s hockey team won their first ever Commonwealth Games gold with a 2-1 win over Australia.

Holly Hunt’s superb strike opened the scoring for England, before Tess Howard fired home a second minute later.

Australia scored a consolation strike with 19 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t silence the packed crowd.

“I’m a bit lost for words – it’s the first time in history we’ve done this,” England captain Holly Pearn-Webb told BBC Sport.

“It’s a new group. I think the next couple of years it’s very exciting when we join the GB team when the Scots and the Welsh come.

“The crowd support has been absolutely amazing. I just feel so lucky that it’s in my career that we’re getting the Commonwealth Games at home.”

England had won a medal at every Commonwealth Games since hockey was added to the program in 1998 – but never gold.

That all changed at the University of Birmingham on Sunday in front of a raucous crowd who played their role perfectly as England’s 12th woman.

After a close opening quarter in which England won three penalty corners, Flora Peel fed Hunt at the top of the D early in the second quarter to put the hosts in front with a fine finish.

Just four minutes later, Peel swept the ball in goal for Howard to touch it over the Australian keeper and into the net.

Australia looked the stronger team after the break, but England went close to a third goal through Anna Toman, who, from a penalty corner, sent a shot that hit the post.

The Hockeyroos did manage to pull a goal back in the dying seconds, Ambrosia Malone with a sharp strike from a short corner which was eventually upheld after a lengthy video review.

It is the second successive Games in which four-time champions Australia have missed the final, having lost to New Zealand four years ago at home.

On her feelings at the final whistle, Pearne-Webb added: “Just pure relief – it was an up-and-down game. We played well in the first half, pulled away a bit in the second half, absorbed a bit of pressure and got there in the end.”

Pearne-Webb is one of six players in the England team that won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 2016. The hosts compete as GB at the Olympics and in the FIH Pro League in the two years leading up to the Games.

England’s Grace Balsdon finishes the tournament as top scorer with six goals.



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