England lose momentum at the last

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The Independent Online
HOCKEY: England's faint hopes of a semi-final place in the Eight Nations Indira Ghandi Tournament ended with a 1-1 draw in New Delhi yesterday when Ramu Shankar, who last season played for Cannock in the National League, equalised for Malaysia three minutes from time.

After a steady start, the inexperienced England side, with Bobby Crutchley and Nick Conway prominent, took control but it was not until the 28th minute that they took the lead. Crutchley was balked, forcing his way into the circle and Calum Giles converted the penalty corner.

The Malaysians turned up the pressure in a close second half. With time running out, England's defence failed to clear their lines and saw Shankar flick the ball goalwards from eight yards to take a deflection, which beat Simon Mason. As England went forward for the winner, Malaysia counter- attacked in the last minute, but Nawawi Mirnawan shot wide, with only Mason to beat.

England's centre-half, Khalbir Takher, who had been instrumental in setting up a series of English attacks, was named man of the match.

India upset the form book with a crushing 6-1 victory over Kazakhstan on their way to a semi-final place. The win was spearheaded by two goals each from Dhanraj Pillay and Jude Felix, both of whom have played for Indian Gymkhana.

England: S Mason (Firebrands); J Wyatt (Reading), I Morrison (Old Loughtonians); S Hazlitt (Hounslow, capt), Khalbir Takher (Cannock), M Sutton (Bournville); D Woods (Southgate), G Fordham, B Crutchley (Hounslow), J Lee (East Grinstead), C Giles (Havant). Substitutes used: J Wallis (Teddington), N Conway (Old Loughtonians).

MALAYSIA: M Nubli; Maninderjit Singh, L Hassan; Z Ali, C David; N Viswa, Aphthar Singh, S Naidu, R Shanker, N Zaini, N Mirnawan. Substitutes used: L Fatt, I Vigneswaran, M Kaliswaran, EIGHT NATIONS INDIRA GANDHI TOURNAMENT (New Delhi). Pool A: England 1 Malaysia 1; India 6 Kazakhstan 1. Final placings: 1 India 5pts; 2 Kazakhtan 4; 3 England 2; 4 Malaysia 1.

REPRESENTATIVE MATCHES: Cambridge University 2 RAF 1; Oxford University 2 Army 0.

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