England's determination yields reward

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The Independent Online
David Whittle, the England manager, was pleased to report a big improvement in his team's performance following their 3-3 draw in Hobart yesterday, writes Bill Colwill.

"I hope we can now build on this after some disappointing performances in earlier games," he said. "The old guard did well up front with excellent defending. The disappointment is that Julian Halls, with a back injury, is doubtful for tomorrow's fifth Test in Melbourne."

England were off to an excellent start when, following a wasted penalty corner chance in the fourth minute, they were awarded a penalty stroke which Bobby Crutchley, brought on for the occasion, converted.It was not until the 27th minute, when Jay Stacy scored from a penalty corner, that Australia managed to get back on level terms.

Two minutes into the second half, Rob Thompson, making his 100th international appearance, scored the first of his two goals to put England ahead again, and although goals from Mark Hager and Paul Lewis put Australia back in command, a 69th-minute penalty corner from Thompson - only England's second award of the game - ensured that the visitors shared the spoils after a putting on a very determined performance.

ENGLAND: S Mason (Firebrands); J Halls (Old Loughtonians), P McGuire (Teddington); A Humphrey ( Hull), Soma Singh (Southgate, capt), J Lee (East Grinstead); C Mayer (Cannock), J Shaw (Southgate), D Williams (Havant), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), R Thompson (Hounslow). Substitutes used: B Crutchley (Hounslow), B Sharpe (Cannock), R Davis (Polo Barcelona).

AUSTRALIA: D Diletti; S Carruthers, K Wark; D Sproule, M Diamond, P Gaudoin; M Smith, J Stacy, M Hager (capt), S Davies, D Duff. Substitutes used: L Bodimeade, B Gerrard, P Lewis.

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