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Mayne’s strike not enough

Favourites England won the Investec Cup women’s final with a 2-1 defeat over the Investec South Africa women’s hockey team on Sunday, after the scores were locked 1-1 at half-time.

England’s goals came from Nicola White and Sam Quek in the third and 64th minutes respectively while SA scored through a superb Jade Jayne strike in the 16th minute, writes Jon Cook.

Both countries will resume the fray at the Commonwealth Games which begin in Scotland on 23 July.

In the third minute of the Investec Cup women’s final, a penalty corner variation saw England’s White come in from the right to deflect home (1-0). Then Alex Danson got a shot in soon after as SA struggled to get into the game.

In the eighth, forward Kathleen Taylor saw her shot well saved by Maddie Hinch as SA got their match going.

Shelley Russell was causing England problems down the right and in the 16th captain Marsha Cox set Lilian du Plessis free before Du Plessis’ early pass found Mayne, the striker, pictured here, netting superbly, high into the net.

England then peppered the SA goal zone with a series of attacking plays but the goal shots yielded no return.

In the 25th Lenise Marais made a goal saving intervention with fantastic counter cover.

The Durbanite exemplified SA’s strong display at the back in limiting England goalscoring opportunities of any real quality.

Turning around at 1-1 it was anyone’s game. SA keeper Anelle van Deventer made a good save from Player of the Tournament Danson soon after the changeover before the world’s sixth ranked side hit the post from a penalty corner variation shortly after.

The determined world No 11 side then won two penalty corners in succession and Tarryn Bright brought a great save from Hinch.

England fought back with a PC but Van Deventer made a classy save.

This fast-paced attractive gold medal match in front of a packed house was a credit to women’s sport.

Shortly after the England PC, a visionary Du Plessis pass found Celia Evans whose strong shot was superbly blocked by Georgie Twigg.

The SA defenders were absolutely outstanding but with six minutes left (64th) Quek made it 2-1 following a PC variation to the left.

A few minutes’ later teammate Sophie Bray hit the crossbar from Danson’s cross and England had done enough to take gold against a quality opponent.

Picture: www.pushhockey.co.uk


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