Hockey: Australia ensure Britain collect wooden spoon

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The Independent Online

There was another disappointing day yesterday for Britain's teams in their final games in the Four Nations Olympic test tournament in Athens. The men lost 2-1 in the final against Spain after a golden goal while the women went down 2-0 to Australia to finish in bottom place.

There was another disappointing day yesterday for Britain's teams in their final games in the Four Nations Olympic test tournament in Athens. The men lost 2-1 in the final against Spain after a golden goal while the women went down 2-0 to Australia to finish in bottom place.

After Santi Freixa had given Spain the lead in the 14th minute, Britain struggled to get back into the game but did so two minutes after the interval. Russell Garcia scored his first goal since his comeback after a good midfield move. Extra time saw a string of fine saves from Simon Mason before Alberto Esteba scored a disputed winner.

As the women struggled to capitalise on possession in their game, a penalty corner strike from Louise Dobson on the stroke of half-time put Australia in the lead. Their captain, Katrina Powell, scored the second in the 59th minute after a sweeping move. "There were signs of improvement but it was still too erratic," Bobby Crutchley, Britain's coach, said.

Britain had rested a number of senior players and had always stressed that the event was more about finalising the squad for next month's Olympic qualifier.

There were no changes at the top of the Premier Divisions of the National League as a result of the weekend's games, although in the women's competition Chelmsford could only draw at home to Fyffes Leicester. Their nearest rivals, Clifton, were also held to a 3-3 draw away at Olton and West Warwick.

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