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England slay the dragon

30 July 2002

England’s comfortable 5-0 victory over Wales on Tuesday, amid torrential rain and thunderstorms at times, preserved their record of not having lost to Wales since 1974.

Jonathan Wyatt

Jonathan Wyatt of England

England’s most convincing performance of the Commonwealth Games so far means they have secured their position in Wednesday’s qualification game for a place in the semi-finals.

David Matthews, who was later carried off with a hamstring injury and watched the remainder of the game on crutches, gave England the lead in the ninth minute.

Mark Pearn scored his first of the tournament after 17 minutes to give England a 2-0 lead at half-time.

Two goals from penalty flicks from captain Craig Parnham and a last-minute strike from Jon Wyatt from a neat penalty corner routine made it five.

Wyatt said: “We were pleased with the play, it could have been nasty but we didn’t do that. We came out with a good win.”

Parnham summed up his teams attitude.

“We have been a bit tentative in the last couple of games so it’s time that we came out of that. There was a much more relaxed feel about the team today and we play better hockey when we are relaxed so I was really pleased with that.”

It was disappointing game from a Welsh perspective. They created few chances and rarely troubled England goalkeeper Simon Mason, who was restored to the line-up today.

Malcolm Woods the English coach said of his teams strong performance:

“I think we at last started to play to our potential, got the right mix of possession and penetration, and produced what I think was quite an entertaining game, though almost spoilt at the end I felt. Nevertheless, overall it was something that went out on British TV and hopefully it will be a boost to the game.”

The result means Wales will play Barbados to decide seventh and eighth places, while England will play either New Zealand or South Africa in a bid to reach the last four.

Zach Jones the Welsh captain said of their defeat: “You’ve got to give them credit, they put a lot of pressure on us. We had a few chances but they were just too solid at the back.”

Info News Service/lc/dm

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