The day began with India’s women securing bronze medal via a dramatic shoot-out, while Canada earnt 5th spot. In the afternoon the women’s gold medal match saw England win their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal in front of a delirious home crowd.
The day ended with New Zealand’s men securing 5th place, a game that saw Wales confirm their highest ever games finish.
New Zealand 1 (1) – India 1 (2): (Bronze medal women)
India edged past New Zealand via a shoot-out against New Zealand to claim the bronze medal.
As both sides looked to grab a medal it was a back and forth first quarter as the teams looked to assert themselves. Megan Hull was denied from a penalty corner, while India duo Sangita Kumari and Salima Tete were also had opportunities. The Black Sticks’ Katie Doar was shown a green card with a couple of minutes to go in the opening 15 but India could not take advantage of the extra body.
India started the second quarter on top, forcing Black Sticks keeper Grace O’Hanlon into action on a couple of occasions. India eventually found the breakthrough on the stroke of half-time, the dangerous looking Tete slotting home to put her side 1-0 up.
The Indian team continued to press the Black Sticks following the half-time interval, Neha and Lalremsiami both seeing efforts blocked. After India forced a penalty corner which was dealt with by New Zealand the Black Sticks began to carve out a few chances of their own. Alia Jaques, Olivia Merry and Rose Tynan all had a go but could not score the all-important equaliser.
The players took their final break with the destination of the bronze medal still uncertain.
The final quarter began with a barrage of Indian attacks, Kaur Navneet having a pop at goal which was proceeded by a number of penalty corners. The Black Sticks defensive repelled all that was thrown at them as they fought to keep themselves alive in the tie. With 3 minutes to go New Zealand removed keeper O’Hanlon to field 11 outfield players. They were rewarded for their risk-taking when Merry tucked away a last gasp penalty stroke to force the game into a shoot-out.
CWG 2022 – FULL COVERAGE | IN-DEPTH | INDIA FOCUS | OFF THE FIELD | IN PHOTOS | MEDAL TALLY
The ever-reliable Hull made no mistake with the first goal of the shoot-out, while Kumari had her effort saved. Ralph had two bites of the cherry after she was fouled in her original attempt, but had her re-take saved by India skipper Savita. Sonika restored parity, before Tynan missed. Navneet scored India’s next, while Doar was timed out. Neha missed the next, but, having to score to keep the shoot-out alive, Shannon had her shot saved by Indian hero Savita.
India secure their first Commonwealth Games medal since 2006, while 2018 champions New Zealand will have to settle for 4th.
Savita (IND): “I feel great. This match was very tough for us and both teams made a good effort. We knew it wouldn’t be easy, so before we came, we worked every minute and every second. I am so proud. We fought as a team.”
Kaur Navneet (IND): “They took out their goalkeeper and we got a [yellow] card, so it’s very difficult to defend. They are also a very good team. We believed in our shootouts and we did it. In the semis [shootout], we were in too much of a hurry. Today we thought that we had to just do our own thing, and not care what the [NZL] goalie was doing. That calmness helped us.”
Olivia Merry (NZL): “It’s not our day. Unfortunately India came out to play and we didn’t in those first three quarters. We had a really good last quarter, but it was probably too late. I’m proud of the girls that step up and take a shootout. It’s not an easy job to do, and to put your hand up after another shootout loss [in Friday’s semi-final] is incredibly special.”
“We had some really good team performances, but probably in the last two games didn’t put on our best performance. It’s a pretty disappointing finish – fourth place is a tough pill to swallow.”
ALSO READ: Watch: Indian Women’s Hockey Team Dance Celebrations After Winning The Bronze Medal at The 2022 Commonwealth Games
Canada 3 Scotland 1 – (Classification 5-6 women)
Canada beat Scotland in the second match of the morning to equal their best ever Commonwealth Games finish.
Canada got off to the perfect start in the first quarter, as after just 4 minutes Hannah Haughn fired her side ahead. Scotland did begin to play themselves back into the tie and forced a couple of penalty corners, the last of which was converted by Amy Costello to restore parity between the sides. An entertaining first quarter ended 1-1.
In a mirror image of the first quarter Hannah Haughn put Canada back in front just a minute into the second quarter. Just like in the first period Scotland hit back with a wave of attacking pressure of their own, but they couldn’t beat a stubborn Canadian defensive unit. The North American’s had a little spell of their own attacks as the period progressed but Scotland continued to craft their own opportunities as well.
No further scores were added and the first half came to a close with the score 2-1 to Canada.
It was to be an even third quarter as both sides battled for 5th place. There were penalty corners for both sides in a back and forth period. Both defensives stayed strong until with 4 minutes left in the 15 Karli Johansen extended the Canadian lead via a penalty corner.
To their credit Scotland came out in the final quarter intent on getting themselves back into the game, knowing a win would secure them their best finish since 1998. They crafted chance after chance in the final 15, throwing everything at the Canadian defence and keeper Rowan Harris. The North American’s stayed strong, as Scotland sacrificed their keeper in the 53rd minute.
Despite the intense pressure exerted by Scotland they couldn’t claw themselves back into the tie and it ended 3-1 to Canada.
England 2 Australia 1 – (Gold medal women)
England struck gold against Australia, winning their first Commonwealth Games gold medal.
The first quarter had all the hall-marks of a game of this magnitude as the sides looked to work each other out and get the upper hand. The last few minutes of the opening 15 featured a string of penalty corners for England, with Grace Balsdon seeing her first few efforts on goal dealt with by a firm Hockeyroos defence and keeper Aleisha Power.
It was to be England who would break the deadlock, as a fine touch and finish was executed to full effect by Holly Hunt on the 22nd minute. A good quarter became even better for the hosts – who were backed by a raucous crowd at the University of Birmingham – when 4 minutes later Tess Howard doubled the lead with a great touch into the Hockeyroos goal. A pair of great efforts had English fans dreaming as the players headed off for half-time.
The third period was a bit more cagey, as Australia looked to make inroads into the English lead. English keeper Madeleine Hinch was called into action, denying Stephanie Kershaw. After absorbing the Aussie pressure England looked to get back to their work, and with 5 minutes left of the period the lead was almost 3 when Anna Toman saw her penalty corner effort come back off the post.
Another 15 were banked as the score remained 2-0 heading into the final period.
As Australia pushed on in search of a breakthrough it was a case of holding their nerve for England, they knew the Hockeyroos would put it all on the line in search of a comeback.
Australia forced a number of penalty corners but keeper Hinch and her defence dealt with everything that was thrown their way. With 20 seconds to goal hearts would have been in England mouths when Ambrosia Malone finally got the Aussie goal from a penalty corner after some relentless attacking. However, it would prove to be too little too late as England held on for the 2-1 win.
For the hosts it was the stuff of dreams, a first Commonwealth Games gold medal on home soil, while Australia picked up their second consecutive silver medal.
Holly Pearne-Webb (ENG): “Bit lost for words. It’s the first time in history we’ve ever done this. I feel so lucky that it’s in my career that we get a home Commonwealth Games. Pure relief and exhilaration. It was a bit of an up and down game. We played well first half, kind of stepped off a little bit the second half, absorbed a bit of pressure but we got there in the end.”
“It’s a new group. The next few years are really exciting as we join up with the GB squad, with the Scots and Welsh to come in. Really young group and the support and the crowds have been absolutely phenomenal.”
Madeleine Hinch (ENG): “We knew we had that kind of performance within us. I’m so proud of the group that they were on the front through the whole game and took it to Australia. We were really inspired by our boys yesterday, we know they didn’t quite come away with the win [in the men’s semi-final], but the way they put everything out there to almost achieve the impossible, and being so close to doing it, gave us the inspiration we needed today.”
Kaitlin Nobbs (AUS): “I’m pretty stoked with how our team’s done overall. We’ve built throughout the tournament, and obviously today wasn’t our day, but leaving from the world cup to the Commonwealth Games we’ve grown and we’ve shown that we can be a really consistent performing team.”
“We’ve had so much fun this tournament. Today’s not our day, but we’ve got Paris [2024 Olympic Games] in two years so that’s going to come round really quickly.”
ALSO READ: Hockey India Writes To FIH on Clock Fiasco; Wants Regulations to be Amended, Guilty Officials Punished
New Zealand 2 Wales 1 – (Classification 5-6: Men)
2018 silver medallists New Zealand edged a tough game against Wales to finish 5th.
The Black Sticks made a rapid start to the first quarter, Nic Woods firing his side in front after just 7 minutes. Rocked by the brutal start to the game Wales began to play themselves back into contention, Gareth Furlong hit the woodwork from a penalty corner while Luke Hawker and Benjamin Francis also went close but New Zealand stood firm and the Black Sticks held onto their slender lead.
After 8 minutes of the second quarter Wales did find the equaliser, Gareth Furlong scoring from a penalty corner. The rest of the period saw little in the way of clear-cut chances, with New Zealand shown a couple of green cards. However Wales couldn’t take advantage of the extra man and the score stayed at 1-1 heading into half-time.
A rejuvenated New Zealand came out for the third quarter looking to show their quality, forcing a number of chances that called Welsh keeper Tobias Reynolds-Cotterill and his defence into action on multiple occasions. The Welsh resistance was eventually broken when Sean Findlay restored the Black Sticks lead in the 41st minute.
Wales went into the final period looking to grab the goal that would send the game into a shoot-out, and crafted a few chances to do just that. James Carson and Rupert Shipperley both had efforts that required saving by the Black Stick’s keeper Leon Hayward. Welsh keeper Reynolds-Cotterill was removed with 4 minutes to go as Wales had one last throw of the dice, but it wasn’t enough as New Zealand held on for 5th spot.
Despite the result Wales have secured their highest ever finish at the Commonwealth Games.
Read the Latest News and Breaking News here