Hockey: England women undone

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND'S women lost 3-1 to Argentina on Saturday in their opening game in a Five Nations tournament in Buenos Aires - their first defeat by the South American champions.

After a goalless first half, in which England squandered a number of chances, the right winger Karina Mazotta scored twice for Argentina with Maria Paula Castelli collecting a third. Kath Johnson scored from the penalty spot for England's late consolation.

At home, with only the Second Division of the Women's National League in action, Melanie Clewlow and Sara Goodman, with first-half goals, gave Canterbury a 2-0 win at Blackburn to beat Great Harwood and secure promotion to the First Division.

Sunderland Bedans, who started the day with an outside chance of promotion, were off to a good start away to Harleston Magpies, with two goals from Jill Brown. They lost their way in the second half, allowing Magpies to come back, through penalty-corner goals from Wendy Latoy and Melanie Page, but this was not enough to prevent Harleston having to contest the play-offs with the five territorial winners to hold their National League place.

Crostyx and Whitchurch secured the last two places in next season's Men's National League following play-offs yesterday. At Chigwell, despite a third- minute goal from Formby's Robin Benford, Crostyx fought back with goals from Andy MacLeod and Nick Duck to lead 2-1 at the interval. Paul Dover scored three second-half goals, two from penalty strokes, to secure the Essex side's place.

Whitchurch also came from behind to win through in Cardiff. After Steve Wilkinson had given Olton a first-half lead, Gary Hibbert equalised for the Welsh side with just six minutes remaining to force extra time and, with no further scoring, a penalty stroke shoot- out which they won 4-2.

In yesterday's Bucks Cup final, Slough, holders for the past 21 years, were beaten 4-1 by High Wycombe, with goals from Darren Carter (2), Ian Styan and Jon Axworthy.