Hockey: England medal hopes rise with emphatic win: Five Nations Cup in Penang

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND, who only narrowly managed to beat South Africa 1-0 in Madrid last month, showed sparkling form in the Sultan Azlan Shah Five Nations Cup in Penang yesterday to beat South Africa 5-1. With Australia surprisingly beaten 3-1 by Malaysia, this sets England up for a medal play-off position.

England were always in command after Jason Laslett struck their first goal in the third minute. The substitutes Nick Thompson and John Shaw added further goals before the interval. England continued to dominate in the second half with Russell Garcia converting a penalty stroke in the 51st minute and Laslett claiming his second goal a few minutes later. South Africa's consolation came five minutes from time when Gary Boddington lobbed the ball over the substitute goalkeeper Jimmy Lewis, who had just come on for his international debut.

Malaysia, beaten by Australia 6-0 in Amsterdam last month, caused a major upset when they came from behind to beat the Olympic silver medallists 3-1, with a hat-trick from their captain, Nor Saiful.

ENGLAND: S Mason (Firebrands); P McGuire (Teddington), J Halls (Old Loughtonians); J Potter (Hounslow), Soma Singh (Southgate), S Nicklin (Teddington); C Mayer (Cannock), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), R Crutchley (Hounslow), J Laslett (capt, Teddington), D Williams (Havant). Substitutes used: J Shaw (Southgate), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians), J Lewis (Havant), S Hazlitt (Hounslow), A Humphrey (Hull).

SULTAN AZLAN SHAH FIVE NATIONS CUP (Penang): South Africa 1 England 5; Australia 1 Malaysia 3. Standings: 1 Pakistan P2-4pt; 2 Australia 3-4; 3 England 3-4; 4 Malaysia 3-2; 5 South Africa 3-0.