Commonwealth Games: England women stun Australia to win first ever hockey gold

·2 min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

England’s women won Commonwealth Games hockey gold for the first time in the event’s history with a shock 2-1 victory over favourites Australia.

The Australians had only twice suffered defeat in the final in Games history and were heavily fancied to win gold for the fifth time in Birmingham.

In a tight match, England scored twice in the second quarter. First, Flora Peel crossed for Holly Hunt to score a stunning opener and moments later Peel was the provider again as Tess Howard to double the hosts advantage.

Australia were the better side for much of the encounter and piled on the pressure for the remaining half. In the final quarter, England found themselves perpetually camped deep in their half but fended off an array of attacks and penalty corners.

That defence did eventually capitulate as Ambrosia Malone found the net but, by then, there were just 19 seconds left off the game and the gold was already out of the Australians’ reach.

Afterwards, England captain Hollie Pearne-Webb said: “I’m a bit lost for words. It’s the first time in history we’ve ever done this.

“It’s a new group. I think over the next two years it’s pretty exciting when we join up with the GB squad when the Scots and Welsh come in.

“The crowd’s support has been absolutely phenomenal. I just feel so lucky that it’s in my career that we get a home Commonwealth Games.”

Games organisers had hoped for this to be something of a Super Sunday for England’s women’s teams but that diminished a little when the netballers and cricketers lost their respective semi-finals.

The hockey players were arguably the least fancied to win gold of that trio against the Hockeyroos despite having six England players among those to cause a shock in Team GB winning Olympic gold back in 2016.