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England women defeat Australia to win first-ever hockey gold

England women defeat Australia to win first-ever hockey gold
© Reuters
England defeat Australia 2-1 in the final of the women's hockey at the 2022 Commonwealth Games to end a long wait for a gold medal.

England's women's hockey team navigated a nervy final few moments to defeat Australia 2-1 and win their nation's first-ever gold medal in the event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Holly Hunt and Tess Howard both struck for the host nation in the second quarter of the match, and Australia could not mount a comeback after Ambrosia Malone struck in the dying embers.

England enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges at the University of Birmingham Hockey & Squash Centre, but Australia made it through the first quarter with their defence holding firm.

Hunt would soon break the deadlock for England in emphatic fashion after being found by Flora Peel, who would also assist Howard for England's insurance goal not long after.

Howard flicked the ball into the back of the net with just one touch of the stick, and it could have been three for England in the third quarter, but Anna Toman's effort from a penalty corner took a slight deflection onto the post.

Australia began to make inroads as the game entered its final knockings, with England goalkeeper Madeleine Hinch called into action right at the start of the fourth quarter, and they were rewarded when Malone swept home with 20 seconds remaining.

The goal was awarded despite an England referral, but Australia were unable to level the scores in the short time that remained, as David Ralph's side won their maiden gold medal in the event.

England had previously settled for silver 1998, 2002 and 2014, as well as winning bronze in 2006, 2010 and 2018.

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Daniel Goodfellow in action at the Commonwealth Games on August 6, 2022
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