Bronze joy for Fox

Bronze joy for Fox

Bronze joy for Fox

First published in Local

BROMSGROVE’S Dan Fox won bronze on the final day of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as England’s Men’s Hockey team defeated New Zealand in the play-off for third place.

England and the Kiwis battled out a 3-3 draw before they finally saw them off 4-2 on penalties during monsoon conditions.

Simon Child gave New Zealand the lead with a classy finish while England saw both Iain Lewers and Ashley Jackson sin-binned.

The match turned before the break, when Alastair Brogdon and Jackson gave England the advantage before Andy Hayward levelled at 2-2 with a penalty corner.

Jackson's second penalty corner put England within sight of victory but New Zealand's star man Childs responded to force the shoot-out with his second goal.

New Zealand's Blair Hilton and Simon Child failed to beat England keeper George Pinner with their efforts while Jackson, Nick Catlin and Barry Middleton all kept their nerve to take England's tally to three.

The score was poised at 3-2 and when Simon Mantell was judged to have been fouled by Devon Manchester, the Blacksticks keeper, Jackson stepped up to convert to fire a decisive penalty stroke, which keeps him poised to finish the tournament's leading the scorer.

The bronze medal also ends a run of fourth-placed finishes at the last Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games and the recent World Cup.

England Men's Head Coach Bobby Crutchley said after the game: "Finishing fourth is a horrible thing and I couldn't be happier for the players that they've got something to show for all the hard work. It was a great advert for hockey and our guys have run their legs off for that result.

"The team has improved so much in the last couple of years and now we've got something tangible to show for it and that's really exciting for the future."

England Captain Barry Middleton added: "I'm not going to wipe the smile off my face for a little while. We wanted to be in the final but it doesn't take anything away from leaving here with a Commonwealth medal.

"After the semi-final we said no-one in the room had a Commonwealth bronze medal so we shouldn't demean the bronze medal game. I was actually wrong because Bobby has got one and now we've got one to match.

"It's a big moment for me and the guys who are just starting. This sets you off on a path where you want to win more and go further. We've won a bronze now and we want to take a step forward. This will keep me playing for a long time because I believe in this group and I think we can go and win things."

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