Britain's women earn their reward

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The Independent Online


reports from Cape Town

Great Britain 2 Netherlands 2

Great Britain showed tremendous character to come from behind twice in a bruising encounter to draw with the European Champions in the Olympic qualifying tournament here yesterday, moving significantly nearer to securing their ticket to Atlanta next summer.

With Diane Renilson in the central defensive position for Karen Brown, Britain were put under pressure from the first whistle and it was no surprise when the Dutch took the lead in the eighth minute. A hard cross from the left by the Dutch captain, Wietske de Ruiter, was deflected high into the net by Suzan van der Wielen.

Britain wrestled their way back into the game with Jane Sixsmith prominent, and equalised in the 26th minute, Rhona Simpson showing typical Scottish tenacity to score for the third successive game.

The Dutch were handed the lead three minutes into the second half when a carelessly taken free hit by Renilson was punished by Jeannette Lewin. But Britain were on terms within three minutes as Dutch indiscipline was punished with a penalty corner and Sue Fraser crashed the ball home.

Brown, who arrived back from hospital at the beginning of the day, has a fractured skull and will take no further part in the tournament.

GREAT BRITAIN: J Thompson (Ipswich); S Fraser (Grove), J Atkins (Bradford Swithenbank, capt), D Renilson (Edinburgh), L Cope (Balsam Leicester); M Davies (Sutton Canada Life), P Robertson (Grove), T Miller (Clifton); M Nicholls (Slough), J Sixsmith (Sutton Canada Life), A Bennett (Slough). Substitutes used: R Simpson (Edinburgh),S MacDonald (Glasgow Western), C Cook ( Hightown).

NETHERLANDS: S De Heij; E Holsboer; D van der Boogaard, M Vossen, S Plesman; J Lewin, F Steenberghe, M Teeuwen; S van der Wielen, E Kuipers, W de Ruiter (capt). Substitutes used: W Fortuin, M Donners.

Umpires: R Chatas (US), J McClintock (Can).

Results, Sporting Digest, page 31