Hockey: Britain fail to capitalise on Grant's dream debut

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The Independent Online

Helen Grant, the Olton and England International, celebrated her first appearance for Great Britain with both goals in their 2-2 draw with South Africa on Saturday in Potchefstroom.

South Africa started the game with much purpose with strikers Pietie Coetzee and Jennifer Wilson causing the British defence a few headaches in the opening exchanges. It was Wilson who set up the opening goal for Coetzee in the third minute when she picked up a rebound at a penalty corner.

A defensive blunder in the 35th minute allowed Grant to score the first of her goals.

Britain dominated the game after the interval with Grant collecting her second in the 47th minute when she got a touch to a fierce cross. South Africa's equaliser came from Canterbury's Susan Webber at a 67th minute penalty corner.

Britain's coach Tricia Heberle, although pleased with her team's performance, was disappointed at conceding a late equaliser. She said: "We performed well in a game which was a steep learning curve."

Although Heberle gave first Great Britain caps to 10 of the team, all were seasoned internationals with all but two having played in the World Cup last December for their individual countries.

Meanwhile, the fireworks expected at the inaugural general meeting of England Hockey were nothing more than a damp squib.

Ian Foster, a former chairman of the English Hockey Association, was elected unopposed as President.

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