Hockey: Clean sweep for England

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND won the women's Home Countries Under-21 Championship here, finishing with a deserved 2-1 victory against Scotland yesterday to add to Saturday's triumphs, 2-0 against Wales and 1-0 against a spirited Irish side who played the most attractive hockey over the weekend.

Alison Wakefield, with a well- struck penalty corner shot, scored the decisive goal against Scotland 10 minutes from time. In the first half Alison Grant had equalised for Scotland from a well-worked penalty corner after Jo Green, also from a corner, had put England ahead.

England and Scotland, who have both qualified for the Under- 21 World Cup in Terrassa this summer, are having to cope with losing a number of over-age players, but England are in the stronger position. Of the new players Louise Hipkin, Jackie Savage and Jackie Empson all had a promising tournament, while Michaela Morton has made the right-back position her own.

The revitalised form of Nina Jones at centre-back gave England an extra dimension in midfield but their penalty corner routine remains a problem. Three goals from 21 attempts is poor.

Ireland finished second after Daphne Sixsmith moved into the circle and pushed the easiest of goals to give her side a 1-0 win over Wales yesterday.

Wales scored just one goal, a diving effort by Margaret Callaghan, but it was enough to give them victory over Scotland on Saturday and third place overall. In Anna John, daughter of rugby's Barry John, they had one of the most gifted forwards on view.

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