England win Silver at Commonwealth Games

ENG AUS ARTICLE

England's women's team came within seconds of winning a Commonwealth Gold medal in a dramatic Final at the Commonwealth Games. Lily Owsley scored a superb goal for England, who defended brilliantly throughout the match, but Jodie Kenny scored for Australia in the last seconds to take the game to a shoot-out. Australia won the shoot-out 3-1 with their Captain Madonna Blyth scoring their winning goal, England having to settle for a silver medal.

Australia 1 (0)
Jodie Kenny 70 (PC)

England 1 (0)
Lily Owsley 48 (FG)

Australia win 3-1 in shootout
Australia scorers: Casey Eastham, Georgina Parker, Madonna Blyth
England scorer: Georgie Twigg

You can watch match highlights on the BBC website.

Leading 1-0, thanks to Lily Owsley’s second-half strike, England were only 11 seconds away from what would have been a brilliant and remarkable victory.

But Jodie Kenny broke English hearts with virtually the last play of the game, firing in from a penalty corner after Anna Flanagan’s initial strike was saved by Maddie Hinch.

That last-gasp equaliser meant the Gold medal would be decided by shootout and despite Georgie Twigg levelling things up after one each, it was Australia who held their nerve in the end to defend their Commonwealth crown with a 3-1 shootout victory.

Kate Richardson-Walsh, England's Captain, said: "It’s so devastating to take it so close to the wire and then with 11 seconds to go that goal went in, it is just heartbreaking.

"We'd stuck to our task for the whole game, I’m so proud of the girls though after losing to them [Australia] 3-0 in the group stage but when it is that close, you want to be on the winning team.

On winning a silver medal she added: "If you had told me at the last game of the World Cup, when we were in a play-off for 11th spot, that we would be in the final of the Commonwealths I would have ripped your arm off. It just shows where this team can go in the future."

On her own future and possible retirement she commented: "Sport is cruel and that’s why we love it, that knife edge is what we play for, that passion and drive to win and that’s why it is going to be so hard for me to give it up. I am going to take some time to think about it because it is just so special. This is not real life, you are in a bubble in the Commonwealth Games, I need to take everything into consideration before I make the decision."

Danny Kerry, Performance Director for England Hockey, said: “Given the age of some of the kids running around in this team, they have got an enormous amount of positives to take from that. We have just matched the team that have wiped everyone else off the park so I am chuffed to bits.

“At the moment they [the players] are absolutely devastated however I think that when they wake up tomorrow, look at their silver medals from the Commonwealth Games and think that they have just drawn with Australia and have only lost one game in the last ten, they will be pretty pleased.”

England's men's team play their Bronze medal match against New Zealand tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 10am, live on the BBC Red Button and online.