England, having survived an initial South African onslaught, then took the game to South Africa.
Jane Sixsmith set up England's first attack but it was Tina Cullen who provided England's opening goal in the 10th minute.
Three minutes later Sixsmith struck at England's first penalty corner, but South Africa clawed their way back with two goals from Alison Dare.
On the stroke of half-time Sixsmith put England ahead again after Mandy Davies had taken advantage of a rare South African error in defence.
In a thrilling second half South Africa equalised through Pietie Coetzee at a penalty corner and Coetzee then put the Springboks ahead with two minutes left.
ENGLAND: H Rose (University of Massachusetts); J Empson (Canterbury), K Brown (Slough); K Bowden (Leics), L Copeland (Slough) L Wright (Olton); M Davies (Sutton Coldfield, capt), M Nicholls (Slough), J Sixsmith (Sutton Coldfield), T Cullen (Hightown), J Smith (Slough). Substitutes used: D Marston- Smith (Clifton), P Miller (Leicester).
SOUTH AFRICA: N Du Toit; S Cormack; H Arnold, M Dobson, J Geyser; K Roberts (capt), L Carlisle, M MacNaughton; A Care, P Coetzee, K Bee. Substitutes used: E Brink, S Wessels, C van Zijl, C Bentley, I van Wyk.Reuse content