Australia’s men make huge statement with large victory, while South Africa’s men edge 9 goal thriller, England’s men make remarkable comeback and Scotland’s women hit double-figures

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The morning session began with Wales’s women wrapping up their first points of the games, followed by Scotland’s women putting 11 past Kenya. The afternoon got off to a thrilling start as South Africa’s men edged an incredible game with Scotland, while England’s men pulled off a remarkable comeback against India. In the evening session Canada’s men rescued a point against Ghana and Australia made a real statement of intent by crushing New Zealand.

Wales 4 Ghana 0 (Pool A women)

Wales picked up their first points of the games after a strong second-half performance against a stubborn Ghana.

The Welsh took the field knowing this game represented a good chance to kick-start their games following back-to-back losses so far. Sophie Robinson took the initiative and had 3 chances herself inside the first quarter, however she could not find the breakthrough as an encouraging opening period for Wales ended goalless.

The second quarter mirrored the first as Wales looked to take advantage of Ghana’s defence that had conceded 17 goals already at the tournament going into this tie. However determined defence and multiple saves from Ghana’s keeper Abigail Boye kept the Welsh at bay as the score remained 0-0 going into half-time.

Relentless pressure from Wales did eventually tell as captain Leah Wilkinson led by example, finding the breakthrough in the 40th minute. Wilkinson had more chances to add to the Wales tally before the 15 were up, but found a determined Boye tough to beat. Wales went into the final 15 with a slender 1-0 lead.

Quickfire goals from Isobel Webb and Millie Holme inside the first 6 minutes of the final quarter blew away any hopes of Ghana nicking something from the game. Elizabeth Bingham, in her 100th appearance for Wales, added another from a penalty corner with just a few minutes left on the clock as the Welsh secured the 3 points.

Elizabeth Bingham (WAL): “Kev [coach Kevin JOHNSON] said we’ve got to stay patient as it would be easy for us to start to force ball as that’s what Ghana want, they want to sit and counter-attack.

“We were very aware of that after playing them four years ago, so we needed to stay patient and we did, and we needed to keep driving the ball out of contact, using two-on-ones, our speed and keep getting corners.”

Scotland 11 Kenya 0 (Pool B women)

Scotland hit double figures as they secured their second victory of the games.

The first quarter was a goal-scoring masterclass from Scotland. First, Fiona Burnet found the target in the 3rd minute, and just 3 minutes later the lead was doubled via a Charlotte Watson penalty stroke. The lead was soon up to 3 as moments later Jennifer Eadie found the goal following a great run by Jessica Ross. Sarah Jamieson made it 4 in the 11th minute and there was still time for Louise Campbell and Amy Costello to get on the scoresheet before the end of the first 15. An impressive 6 goals for Scotland in a devastating first quarter.

Thankfully for Kenya the second quarter was a lot quieter on the goalscoring front. Although Scotland did create a few chances it was only Charlotte Watson that found a way through the Kenyan defence, 3 minutes before the end of the period. The players headed into half-time with Scotland leading 7-0.

It was Kenya who started the third quarter brighter, as both Grace Bwire and Naomi Kemunto had efforts saved by the recently introduced Nicola Cochrane in the Scottish goal. Seemingly stirred by the Kenyan rebellion the Scots went in search of more goals, Jamieson duly obliging by scoring in the 42nd minute. Burnet added another via a penalty corner in the dying embers of the period to give the Scots a 9-0 lead.

It took just 2 minutes for Scotland to notch their 10th goal of the tie, Bronwyn Shields with the strike following a penalty corner. The Scots continued to pepper the Kenyan goal but would only add one more goal to their tally, Katie Robertson with it from a penalty corner. The result left Scotland in 3rd place in Pool B, although having played a game more than New Zealand and Australia above them. The result means Kenya cannot qualify for the semi-finals.

Sarah Robertson (SCO): “Two teams had put a lot of goals past them [Kenya], so we aimed to put on a professional performance. We are pleased with 11-0.”

Scotland 4 South Africa 5 (Pool A men)

South Africa edged an absolute thriller which has all but ended Scotland’s chances of reaching the semi-finals.

A lightning fast start from South Africa saw them take the lead after just 2 minutes via a Dayaan Cassiem strike. A tentative quarter with few chances came to a close at just 1-0 as both sides looked to gain a foothold in proceedings.

Both sides created openings in the first few minutes of the second period, but it was South Africa who struck, Nicholas Spooner scoring in the 24th minute. Further chances for the South African’s followed but the Scotland defence was up to task and the scored stayed at 2-0 at half-time.

Just as it looked as though South Africa may be in for a comfortable afternoon, Scotland burst into life in the third quarter, with 3 goals in 5 minutes. Andrew McConnell scored from  a penalty corner 3 minutes into the period, before Alan Forsyth levelled the tie up. Cammy Golden then fired the Scots ahead for the first time in the game. After Jamie Golden then hit the post South Africa counter-punched and got a goal back via Nqobile Ntuli. There was still time for Struan Walker to add another for Scotland in a breath-taking quarter that flipped the script and saw Scotland lead 4-3.

The final quarter saw a barrage of South African attacks, as Scotland looked to protect their slender lead. Matthew Guise-Brown broke through the Scottish defence in the 56th minute via a penalty corner and suddenly the game was back level. South Africa, sensing they needed to take maximum points from this game pulled their keeper with 2 minutes to go. Taine Paton made himself the South African hero, putting the ball over the top of the Scottish keeper Thomas Alexander with less than a minute to go and securing a memorable 5-4 win.

Taine Paton (RSA): “If we didn’t win there was not much left in the campaign, but it keeps us in the running, which is what we plan to do.

“Scotland was a tough team and there were some actions we probably weren’t happy about that led us to just conceding, conceding, conceding but in a tournament, you have to make it happen.”

England 4 India 4 (Pool B men)

England pulled off a remarkable comeback against India to top Pool B.

India made a rapid start to the game, scoring after just 3 minutes thanks to a Lalit Kumar Upadhyay goal from a penalty corner. Singh Mandeep then doubled the Indian lead with 2 minutes to go in the opening quarter.

Mandeep grabbed his second and India’s third in a third quarter which saw England strike the post through Christopher Griffiths. India went into the half-time break 3 goals to the good and firmly in the driving seat.

With a mountain to climb England found a vital goal in the third quarter, Liam Ansell with the strike in what was a tightly contested third quarter. India were harmed by a late yellow card as Varun Kumar was booked.

Despite being a man down India struck first in what would prove to be a thrilling finale to the tie. Singh Harmanpreet put the Indians 4-1 up inside the first minute of the period but England hit right back, Nicholas Bandurak with the touch to give his side a route back into the match. A super Phillip Roper effort put England back within 1 with ten minutes to go and after India were punished for timewasting a clinical break was finished off by Bandurak to complete a sensational comeback. England did have chances to grab an unlikely three points as India sat back however the game ended 4-4.

Nicholas Bandurak (ENG): “The second half was just crazy. As soon as we got momentum and things started to roll the energy was up, the crowd was behind us and we started to find that extra pass that wasn’t quite there in the first half.

“We genuinely felt a couple more minutes might have done it for us but that’s sport, isn’t it?”

Ghana 1 Canada 1 (Pool B men)

For Ghana it was the cruellest of blows; for Canada the greatest of escapes. With the clock hitting zero on the count down, umpire Deepak Joshi raised his hand in the air to signal a penalty stroke after a stick tackle was awarded following a foul on Devohn Noronha as he was attempting one last shot on the seemingly impenetrable Ghana goal.

To that point, Ghana (World Ranking: 38) had been on the verge of winning their first game at their first Commonwealth Games. The African team’s lead had been deserved: following their 19th minute goal, they had played with a freedom and flair that had been missing from the Canada team (WR:13). As the game moved towards the 60 minute mark, Canada’s passing has been awry and any attacking move had been too easy for the Ghana defence to pick off.

There was a frenetic pace to the opening minutes of the match between Canada and Ghana as both teams sought to gain control of the match from the first whistle.

It was just four minutes into the match when an aerial ball from the sideline found Matthew Sarmento in the circle in front of Duisburg Offei in the Ghana goal. Sarmento’s control was neat but the subsequent show went wide.

Canada continued to knock at the door of the Ghana circle but found a team that was very strong in the tackle and incredibly quick to get bodies in front of any Canada incursion into the danger areas.

With five minutes of the first quarter left, Ghana began to make chances of their own. Emmanuel Ankomah was the recipient of a crashed ball into the circle but his first touch was poor and the resulting shot flew wide. This should have served as a warning to Canada but the defence failed to pick up the free-running Ghana forwards on a number of occasions and, as their possession increased so too did the African team’s confidence levels.

Canada were made to pay in the 19th minute when the ball was played into the circle by captain Elikem Akaba. Michael Baidon picked up the pass and slipped it to Benjamin Kwofie. The striker made no mistake as he slipped it past Tristan Burgoyne to score Ghana’s first ever goal in their first Commonwealth Games.

Mention must be made of the Ghana goalkeeper Duisberg Offei, whose agility and athleticism saved his side as Canada began to ramp up the pressure. In one stand out period of play, the goalkeeper pulled off three successive saves from Harbir Sidhu, Find Boothroyd and Sarmento.

Ghana thought their evening had just got even better when Elikem Akaba looked to have doubled his team’s lead after some audacious 3D skills led to a goal. A back of stick was noticed following a video referral and the goal was disallowed.

The drama continued to the whistle. Even as the hooter was just beginning to sound, a stick tackle impeded a Canadian shot on goal. A penalty stroke was awarded and Pereira stepped up to save his team from defeat.

John Smythe (CAN): “They’re a very quick team and are very skilful. We knew it was going to be a really tough match. We have a young squad, we’re building.

“Unfortunately a lot of guys departed from the team after the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, so what better chance to get games than at the Commonwealth Games.

“Credit to Ghana. They’re good, they have their own league and they’re up and coming. They’re going to be better and better and I hope to see them crawl up the world stage.”

New Zealand 2 Australia 7 (Pool A men)

Australia made a huge statement, crushing New Zealand to send themselves to the top of Pool A.

The Kookaburras made a fast start to their second match of the tournament, with the game just 8 minutes old when a Jacob Anderson pass took a couple of deflections before making its way in. A couple more chances fell the way of the Aussies but George Enersen in the New Zealand goal stood firm.

The Black Sticks men hit back just 2 minutes into the second period, Hugo Inglis with the strike to level the tie. Not to be deterred, 5 minutes later Australia were back in front via Blake Govers firing a drag flick in following a penalty corner. Just a couple of minutes later Govers was at it again, extending the Kookaburras’ lead to 3-1. There was still time for Australia to add another, Jake Whetton slamming in.

As the second half got underway it was time for Nathan Ephraums to get in on the action, scoring high into the net. To their credit New Zealand continued to search for a way back into the game and got their reward when Jake Smith pulled one back for the Black Sticks. However, any thoughts of a fairy-tale comeback were dealt a cruel blow when Aran Zalewski scooped in to leave the score reading 6-2 as the teams took their final break.

Zalewski picked up where he left of in the third quarter, turning the ball into the goal after a powerful Whetton effort. That was to prove to be the end of the scoring in the game as Australia sent out a warning message to any medal hopefuls.

Day 5 preview:

Day 5 features 4 fixtures from the women’s competition. The morning session begins with a clash from the top of Pool B as New Zealand take on Australia at 9:00. At 11:00 Wales will be looking to keep their slender hopes of the semi-finals alive against a Ghana side who sit bottom of Pool A without a point. The afternoon session pits the top two in Pool A against one another as India take on England at 14:00, a win for either side would be huge in the race to top the Pool. The final match of the day gets underway at 16:00, with Kenya taking on South Africa in a clash of two sides without a point in Pool B.

All times are listed in GMT.

To view complete match schedule click here for the men’s event and here for the women’s event.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

1 August 2022 Results Women’s Competition

Match #1

Wales 4 Ghana 0 (Pool A women)

Umpires: Binish Hayat (PAK) Rebecca Woodcock (ENG) Lelia Sacre (CAN-video)

Match #2

Scotland 11 Kenya 0 (Pool B women)

Umpires: Hannah Harrison (ENG) Rhiannon Murrie (AUS) Cathy Wright (WAL-video)

1 August 2022 Results Men’s Competition

Match #1

Scotland 4 South Africa 5 (Pool A men)

Umpires: Nick Bennett (ENG) Stephen Rogers (AUS) Daniel Barstow (ENG-video)

Match #2

England 4 India 4 (Pool B men)

Umpires: David Tomlinson (NZL) Sean Rapaport (RSA) Tyler Klenk (CAN)

Match #3

Ghana 1 Canada 1 (Pool B men)

Umpires: Deepak Chandra Joshi (IND) Peter Obalo Kabaso (KEN) Fraser Bell (SCO-video)

Match #4

New Zealand 2 Australia 7 (Pool A men)

Umpires: Daniel Barstow (ENG) Ilanggo Kanabathu (MAS) Bruce Bale (ENG-video)

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