Hockey: Quick finish to late start

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The Independent Online
Great Britain, after an encouraging performance in a 3-2 defeat to Australia on Wednesday, were given a lesson in finishing by the flamboyant world champions in their second game last night, when they lost 3-0, writes Bill Colwill from Reading.

The start of the game was put back when the pitch required extra watering after drying out in the warm sunshine. With both sides unsettled by the 30-minute delay there was much tentative hockey in the opening exchanges, with the first opportunity falling to Britain in the ninth minute.

A clumsy tackle by Jackie Pereira brought the first penalty corner of the game. Jill Atkins's shot rebounded off the goalkeeper, Karen Marsden, but Tina Cullen was unable to finish it off.

Britain continued to give the Australian defence worrying moments but their raids, led by Jane Sixsmith, became fewer and fewer until two goals in two minutes put Australia in control.

Nikki Mott put them ahead in the 24th minute after a switched penalty corner had baffled the British defence. Then Pereira, so often the scourge of British defences, drifted over to the right to squeeze the ball under Jo Thompson. The half ended with Alyson Annan crashing the ball past a bewildered Thompson. Australia totally dominated the second half but were kept at bay.

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