Hockey: England fall to classy Australians

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ENGLAND, who yesterday lost 3-0 in torrrential rain to Australia, must now avoid defeat against Malaysia if they are to qualify for the fifth- eighth place play-offs and keep alive their hopes of winning a place in the elite Champions' Trophy in Lahore at the end of October and avoid the qualifying tournament for the next World Cup.

England were no match for a professional Australian side. After England had squandered two early penalty corners Australia went ahead in the 25th minute when Michael Brennan gave Simon Mason no chance from close range. The killer blow for England came just two minutes from the interval when Jay Stacy drove Australia's second penalty corner between Mason's legs. Eleven minutes into the second half Stacy struck again and it was all over.

Two sloppy defensive errors within four minutes cost England's women dearly as New Zealand beat them 2-1 yesterday. Although Lucilla Wright pulled a goal back with three minutes remaining the result was never in doubt.

ENGLAND MEN: S Mason (Reading); B Garrard (Teddington), J Wyatt (Reading), J Halls (HDM), A Humphrey (Cannock); J Wallis (Teddington), J Pidcock (Cannock), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians); B Sharpe (Cannock), R Garcia (HDM, capt) M Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: J Lee (Old Loughtonians), C Giles (Southgate), J Wallis (Teddington).

ENGLAND WOMEN: C Reid (Hightown); J Empson (Canterbury), K Brown (Slough), M Clewlow ( Canterbury), J Mould (Leicester); L Wright (Olton), K Bowden (Leicester, capt), J Bimson ( Loughborough Students); J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), P Miller (Leicester), J Smith (Slough) Substitutes used: L Copeland (Slough), K Moore (Olton), S Blanks (Leicester), F Greenham (Olton).