WARD hat-trick hands England men dramatic victory

GOLD COAST – Sam WARD scored a second-half hat-trick as England claimed a 3-2 victory against Wales in their Pool B clash at Gold Coast Hockey Centre on Tuesday 10 April.

The victory assures England of a place in the semifinals.

Wales was the better side in the first half, capitalising almost immediately when English defender Ollie WILLARS was sin-binned for five minutes.

Captain Luke HAWKER (WAL) deflected home a brilliant pass into the circle to give the underdog a 1-0 lead.

On the stroke of half-time, a clumsy effort from English defender Liam SANFORD gave Wales a penalty corner. After two unsuccessful attempts, Benjamin FRANCIS (WAL) deflected a pass into the net.

After the break, England returned to the field a changed side, with WARD scoring his first goal after a sustained period of attacking play.

The team continued to press for an equaliser and with 12 minutes remaining, WARD scored again, this time firing home a brilliant penalty corner flick.

Wales did its best to hang on, but with just three minutes left the prolific forward scored the winner.

Images: World Sport Pics | Grant Treeby
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