Hockey: England tired but victorious

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The Independent Online
An England squad weary after playing four games in four days took the Five Nations Invitation Tournament in Vancouver with a fine 3-1 victory over Ireland.

The success will present their coach, Maggie Souyave, with some difficult problems as she selects her squad for next month's elite Champions Trophy in Berlin.

After a tentative start England opened the scoring when RAF Officer Lucy Newcombe collected a rebound off Irish goalkeeper Alison Vance in the 14th minute to put her side ahead. Two minutes later Tina Cullen put England further ahead when she scooped the ball high into the net at a penalty corner.

It was from another corner in the 22nd minute that Jane Smith netted England's third when she followed up her own stinging shot to score off the keeper's pads. The half ended with Slough's Sarah Kelleher scoring for Ireland at a penalty stroke after her club-mate Karen Brown was alleged to have obstructed.

Loughborough Students, with four goals from former Beeston striker Brett Gillmon, beat Edgbaston 4-2 to clinch the last National League place for next season. Loughborough, who now join Oxford in the First Division, become the first university to have both men and women in the National Leagues.

With a hat-trick in the first 28 minutes, Bobby Crutchley, the scourge of numerous National League defences, destroyed Sussex in the final of the County Championship at Milton Keynes yesterday as Cheshire won 5- 1.