Hockey: Sixsmith inspires England

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The Independent Online


Great Britain received a splendid boost for next month's Olympic qualifier in Cape Town when they beat Spain 3-1 in Madrid to win a three-match Test series against the Olympic champions 2-1.

Britain never looked back after a fifth-minute goal from Jane Sixsmith, following an interception by Sue MacDonald. MacDonald added a second and although Mar Feito pulled a goal back for Spain, Sixsmith ran 50 yards through the Spanish defence to carve out another opening, with MacDonald scoring from the rebound after Sixsmith's shot had been blocked.

In the men's National League Reading and Old Loughtonians stayed two points clear at the top of the First Division ahead of Guildford, who yesterday completed their fourth successive victory over the defending champions, Teddington, winning 4-2 thanks to two goals from player-coach Ian Jennings.

At Reading Chris Keevil and Howard Hoskin both collected a couple of goals in their side's 7-2 win against Barford Tigers. In a bruising encounter at Chigwell, Old Loughtonians beat Cannock 2-1.

Although the Old Boys were attacking on the final whistle they had earlier survived a lot of pressure thanks to excellent defensive play from their England defender, Julian Halls, who goes into hospital tomorrow for a hernia operation.

In the Second Division Beeston and the newly-promoted City of Portsmouth lead the way with maximum points with Brooklands and Blueharts, the second promoted side, keeping the pressure on.

Blueharts continued their impressive start with a 1-0 win at Bourneville, in spite of being reduced to nine men for a period, thanks to a brave display of goalkeeping from Mick Brown, with Iain Appleyard scoring the only goal.