Hockey: England win in style

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ENGLAND'S MEN led the way with a 3-1 win against Malaysia on the opening day of the World Invitation Tournament at Milton Keynes yesterday, whilst the women had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw against a very defensive Spain.

England's men started confidently against Malaysia and after good efforts from Guy Fordham and Jon Wyatt but then lost their way, conceding a goal one minute before the interval. Wyatt, who had been the pick of the English defence, mistimed his tackle as Boon Chua drove on 40 yards to drill the ball into the net.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Calum Giles, taking advantage of loose marking, put England on terms with a reverse stick shot. Russell Garcia put England ahead in the 63rd minute with a powerful drag shot and two minutes later Mike Johnson scored his first international goal.

England's coach, Barry Dancer, pleased with the end result, said: "We started well with plenty of energy and movement on and off the ball, but were then affected by the heat. We were careless in letting Malaysia go ahead but we showed patience and were pretty constructive."

England's women were less satisfied with their draw against Spain. Lucilla Wright edged the ball home for England's goal three minutes before half time. Spain's equaliser came late in the second half through Maria Gonzalez.

Those remaining after the two England games were treated to a thrilling 3-3 draw between Australia, the Olympic, World and Commonwealth women's champions, and the Netherlands.

In a game of high-speed, end-to-end hockey the Dutch twice came from behind to equalise on the stroke of the interval through Dilliame van den Boogaard. Rechelle Hawkes had earlier deflected the ball home for Australia's opening goal. The Dutch captain, Carole Thate, then levelled the scores before Katrina Powell again put the Australians in the lead.

The goals continued in the second half with Julie Towers putting Australia ahead for the third time, and Julie Deiters again bringing the scores level.

WORLD INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT (Milton Keynes) Men: Germany 1 Poland 0; England 3 Malaysia 1. Women: England 1 Spain 1; Australia 3 Netherlands 3.

ENGLAND MEN (v Malaysia): S Mason (Reading); M Johnson (Cannock), J Halls (Cannock), J Wyatt ( Reading), B Waugh (Capt; Southgate); R Garcia (Harvestehuder, Hamburg), B Garrard (Teddington), J Wallis (Teddington); G Fordham (Hounslow), D Hall (Guildford), M Pearn (Reading). Substitutes used: A Humphrey (Cannock), B Sharpe (Cannock), C Giles (Surbiton), J Bell (Brooklands).

ENGLAND WOMEN (v Spain): H Rose (Sutton Coldfield); M Nicholson (Slough); M Clewlow (Canterbury), F Greenham (Slough), K Walsh (Hightown); J Smith (Slough), S Chandler (Slough), K Bowden (Fyffes Leicester); A Bennett (Slough), T Cullen (Hightown), L Wright (Olton). Substitutes used: K Brown (Capt; Slough), J Empson (Canterbury), H Richardson (Fyffes Leicester), L King (Ipswich).