MEN’S HOCKEY: Northern Ireland duo take bronze with England

England celebrate with team mates after winning the bronze meda
England celebrate with team mates after winning the bronze meda

Northern Ireland’s Mark Gleghorne and Iain Lewers picked up bronze medals as England secured a dramatic Commonwealth Games victory in the men’s hockey with a penalty shoot-out win over New Zealand on Sunday morning.

Having led 2-1 and 3-2 at Glasgow Green, England were pegged back to 3-3 in regulation time by Simon Child’s equaliser.

But Bobby Crutchley’s side held their nerve in the shoot-out to prevail 4-2 and clinch a second hockey medal in little over 12 hours.

England’s women had to settle for silver after losing on penalties to Australia following a thrilling final on Saturday night.

England’s men had been beaten to bronze on flicks in the third-place play-off in Delhi four years ago.

Child opened the scoring for New Zealand but Alastair Brogdon soon equalised from close range and a penalty corner strike four minutes before half-time from Ashley Jackson put England in front.

Another penalty corner from Jackson in the second half restored England’s lead after Andy Hayward had levelled for New Zealand, but Child’s late effort - through the legs of England goalkeeper George Pinner - took the game to a shoot-out.

Pinner’s save from Blair Hilton swung the advantage England’s way and a miss from Child meant the outcome rested on Simon Mantell’s shoulders. He was fouled by New Zealand goalkeeper Devon Manchester and, after a failed video referral, England were awarded a penalty stroke.

Jackson emphatically scored, before being mobbed by his team-mates.

Crutchley was happy to see his side come out on the right side of a shoot-out, and hailed their Glasgow 2014 experience.

“We lost to them (New Zealand) in a shoot-out last January, so we were as prepared as we could be for this,” he said.

“It was a very tough game for both teams. I’m happy the guys got rewarded with a bronze medal this time, because we have finished fourth too many times.”

He added of the Games: “It’s been fantastic. I’m amazed with the amount of English people who made the trip to come see us play. We play in great stadiums, but here it was just amazing.”

In the gold medal match, Australia cruised to a fifth straight Commonwealth title with a 4-0 triumph over India in what was a repeat of the 2010 Delhi final.

Australia defender Chris Ciriello scored two drag flicks in the first half and completed his hat-trick early in the second half, with Eddie Ockenden sealing matters 20 minutes from time.

“They’re a really good team, have the skills and are very fast,” Ciriello said of India. “We were working hard in that game and I was lucky enough to bag a couple from the corners.”

The teams then braved the torrential rain at the National Hockey Centre for their medal ceremonies, with Australia coach Graham Reid commenting: “Now we understand what people were saying about the weather.”