Hockey: Police resources overstretched

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The Independent Online
British Police. . . .1

HA President's XI. .11

THE British Police celebrated their 10th anniversary at St Albans yesterday yet there was little joy for them as they were outplayed by a young Hockey Association President's XI.

The HA were ably led from the back by Olympic gold medalist Paul Barber, with one of Britain's brightest prospects, Rowan Davis, doing most of the prompting from midfield.

Teddington's Phil McGuire, who scored four well-taken goals, sent John Shaw away to set up Peter Dennis in the ninth minute for the opening goal. When, eight minutes later, Davis, with a shrewd pass, put Duncan Woods in for the HA's second, the problems were clear for the Police.

To their credit the Police regrouped and, with their captain Andy Halliday working hard in midfield, they pulled a goal back in the 31st minute. Firebrands' Mike Hart, showing a great deal of persistence, laid the ball back for his club colleague, Alistair Price, to score their only goal. Just before the interval Davis added another.

With goalkeeper Jim Marchant making a series of brave saves at the beginning of the second half, the Police remained in the game until a couple of opportunist goals from McGuire. That paved the way to a storming last 10 minutes which produced six goals, including a spectacular third from McGuire, latching on to a long aerial from Peter Gibbins which he brilliantly lobbed over Marchant as the keeper rushed forward.

After that Shaw cashed in with a couple, full-back Graham Day got one, as did Bhatti, before McGuire completed the scoring.

BRITISH POLICE: D Larmour (RUC); M Harris (Avon and Somerset), J Hatcher (Gloucester), T Hughes (RUC), A Price (Avon and Somerset), D Robertson (Met), D Sim (Merseyside), D Lees (West Midlands), R Cox (RUC), R Healey (Met), A Halliday (Met, capt). Substitutes used: M Hart (Avon and Somerset), I Henderson (West Midlands), D Goodwin (Nottingham), J Marchant (Met).

HA PRESIDENT'S XI: M Brown (Blueharts); G Day (St Albans), P Barber (Slough, capt), R Davis (St Albans), J Shaw (Southgate), P Dennis (Blueharts), P Gibbins (St Albans), D Woods (St Albans), P McGuire (Teddington), R Freeman (Southgate), M Bhatti (East Grinstead). Substitute used: M Edmonson (Blueharts).

Umpires: G Nash (North), P Broughton (East).

Wales won their group in the Inter-Continental qualifying tournament at Olten, Switzerland, on goal difference after drawing 1-1 with their hosts in the concluding group match yesterday. Wales opened the scoring after six minutes through Richard Jones from a penalty corner. Switzerland replied 10 minutes later with an own goal from Welsh full-back Mike Williams.

Wales now meet Scotland in Saturday's semi-finals. The Scots booked their place, finishing behind Belgium in their group, after beating Denmark 2-0, their goals coming late in the first half from Paul Doney and Roddy Philp.

INTER-CONTINENTAL CUP Qualifying tournament (Olten Swit): Group A: Denmark 0 Scotland 2; Belgium 4 Italy 3. Final placings: 1 Belgium 6pts; 2 Scotland 4; 3 Italy 2; 4 Denmark 0. Group B: Czechoslovakia 2 Austria 1; Switzerland 1 Wales 1. Final placings: 1 Wales 5; 2 Switzerland 5; 3 Czechoslovakia 2; 4 Austria 0.

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