Hockey: Sixsmith shines as England toil

England 0 Scotland 0
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The Independent Online
Jane Sixsmith's return to the international arena for the first time since the Atlanta Olympics ended disappointingly yesterday after a patternless encounter, which lacked the usual fervour associated with traditional England-Scotland battles, fizzled out into a goalless stalemate. Sixsmith's promising form was one of the game's few bright spots.

Although England had the better of the opening exchanges, Scotland had an early chance to go into the lead with a fifth-minute penalty corner but Sue Fraser shot wide.

The small crowd at the Milton Keynes National Stadium were then treated to some Sixsmith magic.

First she weaved her way through a packed Scottish defence, only to see her centre go harmlessly across the face of the goal. A couple of minutes later she latched on to an aerial ball from Karen Brown but again no one was able to convert her cross.

Scotland clawed their way back into the game with Pauline Robertson working hard in their midfield, but although they won five more penalty corners they were unable to find the back of the net.

Both countries have much work to do if they are to be successful in the World Cup qualifier in Harare in August.

ENGLAND: C Reid; K Brown; J Empson, M Davies (capt), L Copeland; K Bowden, P Miller, C Voss; J Sixsmith, L Wright, J Smith. Substitutes used: S Blanks, T Cullen, J Mould, D Marston-Smith, H Rose.

SCOTLAND: S Lawrie; V Neil; S Fraser, C Corcoran, J Jack; H Walker, P Robertson (capt), D Renilson, F MacInnes; S Gilmour, R Simpson. Substitutes used: J Burley, G Crawford, L Burton, A Grant.

Umpires: L Miller (Eng) and A Ross (Sco).