Hockey: England close in on semi-finals

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The Independent Online

England's men scrambled a 4-2 victory against pointless Switzerland in the European Nations Cup here to keep alive their hopes of a semi-final place. Their last Pool game this afternoon against Poland now becomes a winner-takes-all contest.

Against the Swiss, England were coasting comfortably with an interval 2-0 lead following goals from Ben Hawes and Jerome Goudie. After surviving Swiss pressure in the second half, Barry Middleton saved England's blushes.

England's women moved majestically into the semi-finals on Saturday with a 5-1 win against Germany. Their victory was never in doubt after a delightful move between Lucilla Wright and Rachel Walker provided the opening goal in the ninth minute for Helen Grant.

Three goals in a four-minute spell either side of the interval from Mel Clewlow, Wright and Leisa King cemented the victory. Jane Smith completed the scoring for England. England beat Germany 7-2 in the World Cup in Perth last December. They play Ireland in their last Pool game this evening.