Hockey: England's medal hopes evaporate against Germany

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Australia, with a powerful display of high speed hockey, won the World Junior Cup final at Milton Keynes yesterday when they came from behind to beat India 3-2 in an exciting final. In the bronze medal game Germany beat England 4-2 to retain their remarkable record of having won a medal in each of the finals.

Although Harbajan Singh gave India the lead in the 18th minute it was Australia who went into the interval leading 2-1 following goals from Ben Taylor and Troy Elder within two minutes of one another just before the end of the half.

Driven on by the incessant pounding of the drums from their massed ranks of supporters India strove to get back into the game, but it was not until five minutes from time that Gurumail Singh pulled a goal back.

India's earlier failure to convert 10 penalty corners in the half had been their undoing. Australia had shown the greater physical presence which had triumphed over the traditional artistry of the Indians.

England's hopes of a medal faded after just four minutes against a methodical German machine and evaporated altogether after 16 minutes as the defending champions, still smarting from their defeat by India in the semi-finals, moved smoothly into a 2-0 lead.

The Germans, after soaking up a few minutes of early England pressure, went ahead in the fourth minute. Tobias Hentschel moved sweetly down the left, setting up Sascha Reinelt to squeeze the ball past Jon Ebsworth, who was afterwards named goalkeeper of the tournament. The outfield player's award went to Pablo Amat, of Spain.

When Adrian Simons missed a similar opportunity a couple of minutes later, England were struggling. At the other end England conceded a couple of penalty corners for Max Klink to score Germany's second.

With England unable to get a shot in at their only penalty corner of the half, Germany were back on the attack. When Michael Johnson failed to take advantage of a splendid pass from the England captain, Brett Garrard, Germany took possession and Christoph Eimer finished off a splendid move with a fine reverse stick shot.

Three minutes into the second half, Patrick Lunai-Mierke scored the fourth. England rallied to score twice trough Simons and Alistair Boyse after good work by Mark Pearn, but never looked likely to force extra time.

Jon Royse, the England coach said of the Germans: "They controlled the game and deserved to win. I am delighted we took fourth place."

ENGLAND: J Ebsworth (Teddington); B Garrard (unattached, capt); M Johnson (Cannock), J Evennett (Canterbury), R Stamp (Beeston); R Irvine (Oxford University), D Haydon (Teddington), Manpreet Kochar (Reading), A Simons (Southgate); P Wicken (Canterbury), S Humphries (Canterbury). Substitutes used: A Boyse (Lewes), D Mathews (Canterbury), M Pearn (Reading), T Matthews (Oxford Univ), N Taylor (Hounslow).

GERMANY: C Arnold; M Klink; P Crone (capt), A Lante, J Mulders; S Didyk, C Elmer, P Lunau-Mierke; T Draguhn, S Reinelt, T Hentschel. Substitutes used: O Konig, C Achtman, D Bruse & C Wein.

Umpires: P Elders (Netherlands) & E Denis (Belgium).

WORLD JUNIOR CUP (Milton Keynes): 11/12th play-off: Belgium 3 Japan 5. 9/10th: Cuba 2 Egypt 3 (aet). 3/4th: England 2 Germany 4. Final: India 2 Australia 3. Final placings: 1 Australia; 2 India; 3 Germany; 4 England; 5 Pakistan; 6 Argentina; 7 Netherlands; 8 Spain; 9 Egypt; 10 Cuba; 11 Japan; 12 Belgium.

- Bill Colwill