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Hockey heaven for England women

28 July 2002

England storm to a 6-1 victory over Canada.

Walsh and Smith

Kate Walsh congratulates Jane Smith on another England goal

Jane Smith hit a second-half hat-trick as England ran away with the game after half-time to top Pool 2 on goal difference from New Zealand.

All the goals came in the second half, after a frustrating first period for England. Canada, who had not attempted a shot on goal during the opening 35 minutes, stuck to their defensive game plan, with keeper Sarah Forbes making half a dozen crucial saves, most notably at point-blank range from Leisa King.

Three consecutive penalty corners for England in the first five minutes of the second half eventually told as Smith sneaked in to deflect the ball into the net in the 40th minute.

The early second-half breakthrough was pivotal as England racked up their positive goal difference with penalty-corner strikes by Kate Walsh on 46 minutes and Smith again after 50 minutes, followed by a stunning reverse-stick strike by Rachel Walker six minutes later.

Canada tried to respond, and seemed to be inspired by the exhibitionist antics of a male streaker with Meggan Hunt scoring from a penalty corner (65 mins) immediately after the incident had stopped play.

Anna Bennett scored late on and Smith completed her first international hat-trick for England with a goal against a now demoralised Canadian defence.

England will now face India in the last game of the pool.

Info News Service/gd/dm/pjt

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