England Men booked their place in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games semi-finals, but had to come from 2-0 down at half time to beat Wales 3-2.
Yet again, Wales suffered heartbreak after a terrific team performance, having lost 4-3 against India in their previous game.
The latest Battle of Britain began slowly, Mark Gleghorne forcing a penalty corner save from former Surbiton goalkeeper, David Kettle and David Condon bearing down on goal before shooting wide.
Surbiton’s Harry Gibson replaced George Pinner in the England goal in the second and fourth quarters. Surbiton’s Brendan Creed was hit in the face by the ball in the second quarter before Wales struck twice before half time with England reduced to ten players, Ollie Willars sitting on the naughty step for five minutes.
Four minutes before the interval, Ioan Wall crossed the ball into the circle for Luke Hawker to deflect past Gibson and give Wales the lead. There was further drama when Wales were awarded a penalty corner just 1.7 seconds before half time. Another penalty corner was awarded in added on time, Ben Francis scoring with another deflection to put Wales 2-0 ahead at half time.
England’s comeback began in the 38th minute, Sam Ward scoring from open play. Wales lost their video referral querying a backstick offence which didn’t exist.
Going into the fourth quarter, Wales still led 2-1, but were pegged back in the 49th minute, Ward scoring his second goal of the game with a penalty corner drag-flick. Four minutes later, England came close to taking the lead, Surbiton’s James Gall denied by club mate Lewis Prosser who made a brilliant stick block on the line to keep the score level.
Ward completed his hat-trick with three minutes remaining from open play to become joint leading goalscorer with New Zealand’s Kane Russell who also scored a hat-trick against Scotland in the preceding match. Both players are on six goals.
For England, Creed and Gall were both in the England starting lineup, with David Goodfield coming on in the third minute from the subs bench.
For Wales, Prosser and Furlong were both in the Welsh starting lineup.
The Daily Schedule including links to information on individual matches can be found at the Commonwealth Games website
The England Hockey match report can be found here