Britain complete grand slam

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The Independent Online


reports from Bisham Abbey

Great Britain 4 Russia 1

Great Britain's women, who depart on Sunday for the Olympic qualifying tournament in Cape Town, ended their preparations in style at Bisham Abbey yesterday, winning the third Test against Russia 4-1 to complete a 3-0 grand slam.

The 19-year-old Anna Bennett scored a goal in each half (her first for Britain), Scotland's Sue MacDonald hit one just before the interval and Jane Sixsmith one just after - but again it was the powerful running of the middle trio, Tammy Miller, Mandy Davies and Pauline Robertson, which looked so impressive.

The hastily arranged Tests against the Russians, who finished fifth in the European Cup in the summer - one place below England - provided useful opposition for Britain. They were able to show off their new aggressive and assertive approach to the game and to show, at last, that they seem capable of breaking down the massed defences they can expect to meet in Cape Town - and still score plenty of goals.

A satisfied Sue Slocombe, Britain's coach, said last night: "It's a delight to be going to the Olympic qualifiers with 13 goals in three games behind us, and goals coming from open play and at penalty corners.

"In the past I have been worried about our tackling and our ability to make substitutions without weakening the performance," Slocombe added. "We now have an extremely good allround squad and I can afford to roll my substitutes on and off to make the most of all situations."

GREAT BRITAIN: H Rose (Sutton Coldfield); S Fraser (Grove), J Atkins (Bradford Swithenbank, capt), K Brown (Slough), L Cope (Leicester); M Davies (Sutton Coldfield), P Robertson (Grove) , T Miller (Clifton); A Bennett (Slough), J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), M Nicholls (Slough). Substitutes used: S MacDonald (Glasgow Western), C Cook (Hightown), D Renilson (Edinburgh Ladies).

RUSSIA: G Musina; I Sviridova; N Kravchenko, M Chegurdaeva, E Cheroshilova; E Polokova, N Chegurdaeva, E Kalinichenko, T Vasykova, capt; O Leksina, I Peskunoa. Substitutes used: O Ushkova and O Nikiforova.

Umpires: V Sassall and D Prewett (both England).