Hockey: Copp disappointed by rules delay

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The Independent Online

There were goals galore on the final day of the Los Reyes International Tournament here yesterday with a fair number of them coming as a result of experimental rules which make it unnecessary to stop a ball before a hit is made at a penalty corner.

There were goals galore on the final day of the Los Reyes International Tournament here yesterday with a fair number of them coming as a result of experimental rules which make it unnecessary to stop a ball before a hit is made at a penalty corner.

Jon Copp, the former Great Britain Olympic chief coach who now guides Reading, watched with more than a passing interest, expressing his disappointment that England had decided not to introduce the new rules until 1 September. "It will put our players at a distinct disadvantage in the European club competitions [Reading are the English representatives at the end of the season] and our international players and umpires. We need as much practice as possible. They [the rules] should be introduced immediately. We really do make life difficult for ourselves."

However, there was nothing difficult for England's two leading teams as they completed their programme in style to finish first and second in the men's competition. Cannock sailed through to win this prestigious tournament with a 10-2 victory against the local side Pedralbes, with Martin Jones scoring four times.

Reading, who had established a two-goal interval lead, moved into top gear after the break with braces from Mark Pearn, Scott Ashdown and the veteran Colin Cooper seeing them to a comfortable 7-0 win against the University of British Columbia.

There was no such joy for Fyffes Leicester, who went down 2-1 to Real Sociedad from Santander, despite Sarah Blanks giving them the lead.

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