Hockey: Giles raises England hopes

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The Independent Online
Calum Giles, England's penalty corner specialist, was in fine form in this weekend's England training matches. He scored two hat-tricks as the coach, David Whitaker, made final preparations for the Champions Trophy in Berlin next Saturday, writes Bill Colwill.

On Saturday East Grinstead were defeated 7-1. In addition to Giles's three goals, Nick Thompson scored twice with Rob Thompson and Danny Hall collecting one each.

Yesterday England followed up with a 5-0 victory against Surbiton at Bisham Abbey. However, with several players injured, it was a strange side which took on Surbiton with Teddington's Jimmy Wallis, brought into the squad in place of Phil McGuire, lining-up at centre-half.

Giles shot England into a three-goal lead after 43 minutes and laid a fourth on for Russell Garcia. Chris Mayer completed the scoring after catching Surbiton's player-coach, James Duthie, one of England's assistant coaches, in possession.

There will be fitness tests today for the second-choice goalkeeper David Luckes and centre-half Kalbir Takher.

Australia, warming up to defend their Champions title, won the Six Nations Sardinia Intercontinental Tournament in Cagliari on Saturday with a 4-0 win against Italy.