Day 8 at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre in Labrador from the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Wales (26) v Ghana (30) 9-10 Place
First game of the day saw Wales take on Ghana in the 9-10 placed play offs. Ghana coming into this game with no wins at all and some very heavy losses and Wales with mostly losses and one win in their first game verses India but never did quite get to that kind of game play in their other matches. It was going to be a tough game for both teams as Ghana had been improving their game play although the results didn’t quite reflect that and Wales playing some good hockey but not quite getting the chances they needed. It was an exciting game to watch as both teams making some good attacking plays and defending well too. It was all even in the first half of the game and coming back after half time you could tell that both teams wanted a goal, a few penalty corners in the first 11-12mintues saw no goals… the only goal that did come in this quarter was from open play in the 44th min of the game Ghana held the lead for this quarter at least. Wales were not quite finished from the looks of it and came back fighting in the 4th quarter equalising in the 53rd minute of the game. It ended up that way for the rest of the game even though both teams had a few chances at scoring especially in the last minute of the game where the Wales goal keeper was tested and had to make a save and see out a missed shot. As with all play offs and finals matches the game went to a Penalty Shoot out. Ghana missing out on a 2-0 shoot out victory for the Welsh side which they were clearly delighted about.
Wales 1 v 1 Ghana
Malaysia (22) v Scotland (18) 7-8 Place
It was much more straightforward in the Malaysia verse Scotland game with one clear winner at the end of this game. Scotland opened the score-line within the first 5 minutes of the game and keeping that lead going throughout the 1st quarter and increasing it in the 2nd quarter with a goal in the 22nd minute and then again 5 mins later in the In the 27th minute. Scotland led the game at the end of the 1st half but Malaysia were not about to give up, coming out stronger in the second half very early on, 47seconds and then again in the 10min of the 3rd quarter probably giving Scotland a bit of a scare which saw them start to defend a little better and create some attacking opportunities. Scotland were just about leading coming into the 4th quarter with only a goal in it. Scotland needed to make sure they had much more of a comfortable lead and that came in the 51st min goal coming from open play. Malaysia still fought to get some more goals especially in the last min of the game where they had two chances from 2 penalty corners but couldn’t quite get that final goal to narrow the lead however late it may have come. Very exciting final few minutes of the game.
Malaysia 2 v 4 Scotland
England (2) v New Zealand (4) Semi Final
England took on New Zealand and a bit of a milestone for the England Captain Alex Danson who celebrated her 300 Cap at international level, England adopted a press that involved them being high on the left and deep on the right of the pitch which seemed to work well to their strengths. The game was pretty much end to end all the way but none of the team really capitalising on their chances in open play and Penalty corners. How England didn’t score form 3 consecutive corners, which is very unlike them, is a testament to how well the Blacksticks defended them. The game ended up 0-0 on the final whistle which only meant one thing… Penalty Shoot Out, but this wasn’t before a nail biting last minute save by Maddie Hinch. Both teams had been in this situation before but who would come out on top this time round, our money was on England but unfortunately we would have lost. The only goal coming form Hannah Martin wasn’t enough to give them the win with Maddie Hinch being wrong footed on a very rare occasion giving the Blacksticks the win when it came to their opportunity to score, England will go on to play for Bronze and Blackstick would go to play for Gold in their respective games.
I would just like to say… loving the head cams the umpire are wearing at the Commonwealth Games gets you right in the thick of the action when you get to see their view point.
England 0 (1) v (2) 0 New Zealand Shoot-Out
Australia (5) v India (10) Semi Final
Final game of the day was Australia verse India. Australia came into this game with no losses in the competition and India only narrowly losing out to Wales in their first game of the tournament. It was an exciting game with some end to end hockey although Australia dominating most of the game play, both teams help each other to a 0-0 draw in the first half. The second half saw some inspirational plays by both teams but Australia coming out on top in the first 7mins of the 3rd quarter. India didn’t let up and still applied pressure to the Hockeyroos but couldn’t quite beat their defence although they did have a few chances. The game ended up with Australia winning with the only goal of the game. India and Australia will be playing teams they came across in the pool stages with India playing England who they beat in the final few mins of their clash and Australia will play New Zealand which ended up as a 0-0 draw… both games promise to be quite exciting.
Australia 1 v 0 India
World Rankings and Pools
Women’s Pool A
England (2), India (10), South Africa (14), Malaysia (22), Wales (26)
Women’s Pool B
Canada (21), Australia (5), Scotland (18), New Zealand (4), Ghana (30)
Men’s Pool A
Scotland (23), South Africa (15), Australia (1), Canada (11), New Zealand (9)
Men’s Pool B
Pakistan (13), Wales (24), England (7), India (6), Malaysia (12)