Hockey: Wright makes England's day

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LUCILLA WRIGHT, Olton's 18-year-old, was the toast of England in Utrecht yesterday on the opening day of the women's World Cup when she scored England's goal with a fierce shot from a 19th-minute penalty corner in a 1-0 win against India.

The corner award came after a penetrating run by Jane Sixsmith had been abruptly ended by Helen Soy, India's iron player in defence. Wright, who had "tapped" a couple of earlier chances "just let fly".

England, who started attractively, lost their way against a side who defended in depth. Indeed, they did not have another shot at goal in the first half.

India came forward more after the interval, but with Jackie Empson playing well in defence and Karen Brown covering with confidence at the back, their chances were limited to a couple of penalty corners both of which England defended with a certain degree of luck.

England's failure to control the second half was admitted by their coach, Maggie Souyave, as disappointing. But she said: "We got a win and a good start. We have a lot to work on. Next game will be better."

Scotland opened the proceedings against the world and Olympic champions, Australia, in the Utrecht FC stadium on a temporary artificial grass pitch, losing 5-0. Only brave goalkeeping by Tracey Robb, and Sue Lawrie in the second half, and inept penalty corners by Australia saved a landslide.