- Black Sticks win first ever gold in Commonwealth Games hockey
- Australia pick up silver
- England defeat India to take bronze
Gold Coast, Australia: New Zealand have won their first ever Commonwealth Games gold medal as they defeated Australia in the Gold Coast 2018 women’s hockey.
As a result, Australia picked up silver while England won bronze as they beat India.
In the final, New Zealand took the lead through Shiloh Gloyn in the 28th minute when she smashed a shot beyond goalkeeper Rachael Lynch to give the Black Sticks a 1-0 advantage going into the half-time break.
Whilst Australia had their chances, New Zealand continued to dominate and in the third quarter, penalty corner conversions from Rose Keddell and Olivia Merry put them 3-0 ahead.
Australia’s Hockeyroos battled hard and made a brief comeback through a Jodie Kenny drag flick in the 50th minute but it was to be New Zealand’s day. Anita McLaren sealed their historic win in the 56th minute through a penalty corner to make the final score 4-1.
After their win, Head Coach Mark Hager said: “This means a hell of a lot to our group. We have found ourselves in crunch matches before but I’m just so pleased we were able to finally get across the line and win gold. The feeling is fantastic, this is a team I absolutely love being a part of and I’m proud of every single one of them.”
He continued: “These players don’t make a lot of money but put in a tremendous amount of time and effort, mostly after hours, to get to where they are, so this is thoroughly deserved.”
Speaking about their loss, Australia’s Savannah Fitzpatrick said: “I am pretty devastated. Silver seems worse than bronze sometimes. We weren’t on the same page for a period and that’s when they hurt us. We were trying to work really hard but it was frantic energy not positive energy.”
In the bronze medal match, Sophie Bray was a hat-trick hero for England as they defeated Asian champions India to secure their sixth consecutive Commonwealth Games medal.
Both teams took time to get into this match and although India challenged England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch on several occasions, England showed their ruthlessness in front of goal.
England pulled ahead just before half-time through Hollie Pearne-Webb. From a penalty corner she misjudged the trap but fortunately had enough time to make the strike herself, which to her delight ended up in the back of India’s net.
After the break England’s Sophie Bray lit up the Gold Coast Hockey Centre, her first goal the best as she perfectly executed a backhand strike into the top corner in the 43rd minute. She then got her second of the day six minutes later.
Laura Unsworth made it 4-0 as she scored from a tight angle before Bray completed her hat-trick with only four minutes remaining.
The three-goal hero had one last influence on the match as she set up her captain Alex Danson for England’s sixth.
That result was the 10th consecutive year the women have medalled at a major hockey event as either England or Great Britain.
Afterwards, England captain Alex Danson said: “It was a resilient performance. We’ve got a very big, very talented squad. It’s a fantastic way to end this event. It’s a relief when you’ve done the work at home, and you’ve got the tactics and the ability as individuals in the team to play. It’s all about the mindset, how you feel going into the match. How you talk, how you think, and how you stand.”
The women’s hockey event at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is one of the last major international events before the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 taking place in England between 21 July and 5 August. Tickets for that event are still available and can be purchased here.