Hockey: Triumph for England: Win over Australia is perfect send-off

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND, with a 6-2 win against Australia in their final game, maintained their unbeaten run to win the Five Nations Midland Centenary International Indoor Tournament in Kidderminster yesterday.

The success gives England the perfect send-off to Germany for the European Championship finals in Bonn at the end of the month.

It was Bob Crutchley, with two goals midway through the first half, who set up the victory before second-half goals from Don Williams and Philip McGuire ensured England gained revenge for two defeats by Australia in their last meeting.

Earlier England drew 7-7 with Scotland. Soma Singh laid on England's opening goal for McGuire after four minutes but Scotland equalised through Paul Doney who took advantage of England's shaky defence, which was missing the solidity of Julian Halls.

Crutchley restored England's lead before Scotland's captain, Michael Starling, equalised before half-time.

Although Scotland took the lead shortly afterwards through Roddy Philp, Peter Nail and Matt Sutton put England back in charge. Crutchley then went on to complete another hat-trick but England still had to be content with a share of the points. In their final game Scotland beat the United States 6-4 to take second place.

One of the best individual performances came from Marq Mellor, the US captain, who took his tournament total to 13 goals with five in a

9-6 win over Denmark and two more in a 4-4 draw with Australia.

ENGLAND SQUAD: D Luckes (East Grinstead), S Mason (Firebrands), J Laslett (capt), P McGuire (Teddington), R Crutchley (Hounslow), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians), A Humphrey (Welton), P Nail, D Williams (Havant), M Sutton (Bournville), Soma Singh (Southgate).

MIDLAND CENTENARY INTERNATIONAL INDOOR TOURNAMENT (Kidderminster): Denmark 6 USA 9; England 7 Scotland 7; Australia 4 USA 4; Scotland 6 Denmark 4; England 6 Australia 2. Final positions: 1 England 10pts; 2 Scotland 8; 3 USA 4; 4 Denmark 3; 5 Australia 2.