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Hockey: Simpson double strike

RHONA SIMPSON, Scotland's Great Britain striker, who has recently returned to the national side from injury, scored twice as Scotland beat Belgium 3-1 in Cologne yesterday in the European Women's Nations Cup. The result restored a little Scottish pride.

In a very physical tussle, Scotland, still smarting from their 1-0 defeat by the French earlier in the week, were always in command, although it took some 20 minutes before they broke down the stubborn Belgian resistance.

Sue Fraser slammed home their first penalty corner only for Belgium to equalise at a penalty corner just before the interval. Simpson then struck twice after the interval.

England had already cemented their semi-final prospects on Saturday with a convincing 8-0 win against the Czech Republic. It was a game in which England proved that they can be ruthless, although they should be concerned that they only scored once from 10 penalty corners. With Tina Cullen, Jane Sixsmith and Lucilla Wright scoring twice each and Kirsty Bowden and Helen Richardson collecting one each, they advanced their cause.

The 17-year-old Richardson's first international goal followed on from three promising performances in a squad which is visibly growing in confidence.

England today play Ukraine in a game which is also likely to be physical. The Dutch, England's most likely opponents in the semi-finals, yesterday crushed the French 6-0 with Fatima Moreira de Melo and Fleur van de Kieft each scoring twice.

WOMEN'S EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP (Cologne) Pool A: Scotland 3 Belgium 1; France 0 Netherlands 6. Pool B: Spain 1 Ukraine 0; England 8 Czech Republic 0; Germany 2 Ireland 0. Standings after 3 games: 1 Germany 9pts; 2 England 7; 3 Spain 7; 4 Ukraine 3; 5 Ireland 0; 6 Czech Republic 0.

MEN'S INTERNATIONAL (Amstelveen): Netherlands 15 Italy 1.

MEN'S INTERNATIONAL (Johannesburg): South Africa 2 India 1 (South Africa win five-Test series 3-0).

WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL (Johannesburg): South Africa 9 Wales 1 (South Africa wIn four-Test series 4-0).