Hockey: Kate Walsh jaw injury will not distract Team GB


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The Independent Online

Great Britain women's goalkeeper Beth Storry insists they have not been distracted by the injury to captain Kate Walsh.

The 32-year-old defender left The Royal London hospital yesterday after a three-night stay following surgery to have a plate inserted to stabilise a fractured jaw after being hit in the face.

She returned to the Olympic village but will not take any part in tonight's match with Belgium.

In her absence the side recorded their second successive win, although the 5-3 win over South Korea did see their defence get exposed.

But Storry, who conceded her first goals in a competitive match at the Riverbank Arena after keeping shut-outs in May's test event, stressed their focus had to be on the match.

"It (Walsh's injury) doesn't unsettle us because it is part and parcel of hockey," the Reading goalkeeper told Press Association Sport.

"You just play and you don't even think about it. When you are out on the pitch it is just about playing and winning and I don't think it comes into anyone's thoughts.

"It is all about match focus. We are obviously thinking about her but for us it is not about Kate, it is about coming out and doing the job and winning - which is the most important thing."

Back-to-back wins have put them top of Pool A and another three points tonight would strengthen their semi-final bid.

"Two wins out of two games is the perfect start," she added.

"We made it exciting and gave the crowd their money's worth against Korea but our team has character in bucketloads.

"We are fighters and what I love about our team is that we never give up.

"Even at 3-3 I just thought 'It's fine'. I knew we could score and I knew we'd keep on going and wouldn't let it get in our heads and that is a great feeling to have in our heads."

Great Britain's men had to show character to rescue a point against South Africa yesterday as they trailed 2-1 with two minutes to go.

Ashley Jackson, who had opened the scoring with a first-half penalty corner, got the finest of touches on Richard Smith's cross for the late equaliser - awarded with the help of the video umpire.

GB struggled to find their flowing form and two goals in quick succession from Austin Smith and Jonathan Robinson in the last 10 minutes appeared to have sealed their fate.

Coach Jason Lee took off goalkeeper James Fair in order to gain a numerical outfield advantage but revealed he was not happy with the performance.

"I got quite angry to be honest," he said.

"There was some direction we were trying to get into the team in the second half and we rarely delivered it.

"I wanted to keep the keeper off and go for the win but we weren't solid enough perhaps to do that.

"When we went behind it was the only option and there was some soul-searching whether we should go for the win and we might look back on that with regret."