Hockey: Crutchley's clutch

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ENGLAND finished their run of seven successive internationals in seven days at Bisham Abbey yesterday with a crushing 5-1 victory over the United States, writes Bill Colwill.

As in the previous games, England created plenty of chances but yesterday turned them into goals, with three from Hounslow's Bob Crutchley and two from the second-half substitute, Calum Giles. It was Crutchley who gave England the lead in the ninth minute when he gently glided Chris Mayer's cross just inside the post.

There was nothing gentle about his second goal in the 23rd minute, with a drag penalty-corner shot, nor a few minutes later when he crashed the ball against the upright. But it was the American captain, Mark Mellor, who capitalised from their only penalty corner, and scored in the 28th minute.

Two early second-half goals from Giles - the first from a penalty corner and the second with a neat lob over the goalkeeper from a Jason Laslett pass - put England in command. Winning a series of penalty corners, Giles had the opportunity to complete his hat-trick but is was Crutchley who, in the 56th minute, landed his third goal from England's eighth award.

In defence, Jon Wyatt combined with the ever improving Phil McGuire, who has been the one consistent performer in all seven games.

ENGLAND: S Mason (Firebrands); P McGuire (Teddington), J Wyatt (Reading), A Humphrey (Hull), J Laslett (Teddington, capt), A Degun (Barford Tigers), D Williams (Havant), K Takher (Cannock), R Crutchley (Hounslow), J Lee (East Grinstead), C Mayer (Cannock). Substitutes used: R Davis (Harleston Magpies), C Giles (Havant), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians), D Luckes (East Grinstead).

UNITED STATES: J O'Haire; B Maruquin, J Horrocks, M Barakat, D Finkel, L Amar, S Jennings, J O'Neill, D Maurer, M Mellor (capt), D Ekhner. Substitutes used: M Ruvalcaba, P Sykes, S Wagner, E Wassenaar, O Steffers.

Umpires: M Pettit (Eng) and A Kohli (US).