Australia and India’s men both hit double-figures in their opening games of the tournament


New Zealand’s men got the day’s play underway with a comfortable showing against Pakistan, while Australia got their games title defence started with a massive victory over Scotland. The afternoon session started with a cracker between England and Wales men in which the hosts claimed a valuable three points, while India put 11 past Ghana. The evening began with a narrow England women’s win over Canada, with the day ended by a dominant Australia showing against South Africa.

New Zealand 4 Pakistan 1 (Pool A men)

New Zealand’s men opened the day’s play with a consummate performance against Pakistan, claiming their first 3 points after a remarkable opening day draw with Scotland.

The first quarter saw a barrage of Black Sticks pressure, with misses from Sam Lane and Brad Read alongside a Nic Woods blocked effort and a Hugo Inglis shot saved by Pakistan keeper Akmal Hussain. Despite the one-way traffic Pakistan stood firm and the first quarter ended goalless.

However, the pressure on the Pakistan goal did eventually reap reward for New Zealand, as dangerous midfielder Inglis fired home just a minute into the second period. Inglis doubled his tally –  and his sides lead – just a minute later as New Zealand looked to turn the screw. However, the quick-fire double appeared to wake up Pakistan, who dragged themselves back into the tie following a Ghazanfar Ali strike in the 26th minute. Both sides had chances to score again in the quarter, but the game remained at 2-1 heading into half-time.

Gold Coast silver medallists New Zealand came back out after the break looking to put the game to bed as they searched for maximum points. However, chances from the likes of Inglis, Jake Smith and Kane Russell came and went to no avail. Pakistan began to create chances for themselves through Ahmad Nadeem, Rizwan Ali and Afraz as the game became more open, with both sides feeling like they could take something from the clash. Then came a turning point, as New Zealand forward Dylan Thomas extended his sides lead to 3-1 just 2 minutes from the whistle.

Pakistan weren’t helped by an early Rizwan Ali green card in the final period, as New Zealand looked to improve their goal difference. Inglis, Sean Findlay and Thomas all had early opportunities but the Pakistan defence held up. A quieter final period ensued, however there was time for Sam Lane to add a 4th New Zealand goal in the final minute and wrap up a 4-1 victory.

Blair Tarrant (NZL): “It was a bit wet this morning but we’re used to these conditions back home. I think we put in a really good effort defensively and then avoided the constant pressure, but they snuck a few under.”

Australia 12 vs Scotland 0 (Pool A men)

6-time champions of the Commonwealth Games Australia made a barnstorming start to their defence of the title, crushing Scotland 12-0, with defender Jeremy Hayward scoring 4 goals.

Despite the final result it was Scotland that had the first chance of note in the game, Andy Bull missing the target. This appeared to wake up the Kookaburra’s, who took the lead in the 9th minute through a Blake Govers rocket. Timohty Brand added another 3 minutes later before Hayward grabbed his first of the game. A devastating opening 15 saw Australia race into a 3-0 lead.

A quickfire double from Aussie Tom Wickham inside the first 3 minutes of the second period extended the Kookaburra’s lead. Hayward then found the bottom corner in the 25th minute following a penalty corner. Scotland did create themselves a few chances before half time, but were unable to make inroads into the Australian lead as the players headed off the field at 6-0.

The Aussies raced out of the blocks in the third quarter, crushing any dreams of a remarkable Scottish comeback with 3 goals inside 4 minutes from Brand, Joshua Simmonds and Nathan Ephraums. A rampant period was made even sweeter for the Kookaburra’s when Hayward completed his hat trick in the 37th minute. The goal put Australia into double figures, leading 10-0 at the end of the penultimate quarter.

Despite two Jamie Golden opportunities for the Scots from penalty corners, it was Australia that got the scoring underway in the final 15. Ephraums notching his 2nd of the tie. Fittingly, it was the sensational Hayward that scored the final goal of the game, following a penalty corner as the Aussie’s ran riot.

Edward Ockenden (AUS): “We thought Scotland were a pretty impressive team and obviously started well, so we had to come out at our best and we are pleased at how it went.”

England 4 Wales 2 (Pool B men)

Hosts England secured their second win of the games in the first match of the afternoon session, conquering a lively Wales side.

The first quarter started with a bang for England, who took the lead after just 74 seconds via a Samuel Ward strike from a penalty corner. The hosts, who will be targeting a medal at the games, had a few further chances before the end of the first period but the Wales defence were up to task and kept the score at 1-0.

Sensing that they were more than in the game Wales equalised after 3 minutes of the second quarter, Lewis Prosser with the goal from a penalty corner. Stirred by being pegged back England carved out several chances in the remainder of the period, including Nicholas Bandurak having an effort from a penalty corner saved by Wales keeper Tobias Reynolds-Cotterill. Despite the pressure the score stayed at 1-1 heading into half-time.

Both sides went toe-to-toe in the opening exchanges of the third quarter, with Wales’s Ioan Wall twice denied from penalty corners. Two yellow cards, shown to Rupert Shipperley and Daniel Kyriakides, harmed Wales and England cashed in on their men advantage, a penalty corner powerfully converted by Bandurak with 4 minutes left of the period.

With the game still in the balance heading into the final quarter it was Wales who struck first, equalising for the second time in the game through James Carson from a penalty corner. England hit back just moments later, as Phillip Roper got himself on the scoresheet and the hosts noses back in front. The points were wrapped up with 3 minutes left on the clock as Bandurak grabbed his second of the game after some good work from Jack Waller. England now sit top of Pool B.

Samuel Ward (ENG): “Playing against a home nation is always going to be a physical game.

“We knew what were up against and I’m very proud of the lads that we’ve put a result in.

“When you look at the Europeans two years ago, we drew 2-2 and didn’t make the semis, so this was actually a massive game for us.”

India 11 Ghana 0 (Pool B men)

India got their games underway with a big win over Ghana in the second game of the afternoon session.

The tie was just 2 minutes old when India found their first goal of the tournament, Abhishek profiting from a penalty corner. Further goals from Singh Harmanpreet and Singh Shamsher in the last 5 minutes of the quarter put India in the driving seat.

Singh Akashdeep scored the next India goal in the 20th minute, with Singh Jugraj adding a 5th via penalty stroke. Ghana did then create a few chances for themselves, Ernest Opoku denied twice with Alfred Ntiamoah also seeing an effort saved. A strong end to the half for the Ghanaians but they trailed 5-0 at half-time.

A re-energised India began to put more pressure on the Ghana goal in the third quarter, breaking through a stubborn defence in the 35th minute as defender Harmanpreet notched his second of the game from a penalty corner. Nilakanta Sharma, Kumar Varun and Jugraj all added to the India tally in the space of 5 minutes to extend the Indian lead to 9-0 by the end of the period.

Singh Mandeep put India into double figures just 2 minutes into the final 15, before Harmanpreet completed his hat-trick in the 53rd minute. Despite opportunities for India to further add to their glut of goals the game ended 11-0.

Singh Manpreet (IND): “We did a couple of good things, but still we need to improve, because we gave them a couple of good opportunities, we gave them easy penalty corners.

“We need to work on it, because we can’t give this kind of easy [opportunity] to England, they can score the goals. So we need to work on our defence.”

Canada 0 England 1 (Pool A women)

Both England and Canada women went into this Pool A match with a win under their belts so confidence in the respective camps was high. However, the host nation would have been out and out favourites for the three points: not only do England sit nine places above the Wolf Pack in the FIH World Rankings (England WR:5, CAN WR 14) but they had all the benefits of a home crowd that was excited to see their team in action.

While England bossed possession in the opening quarter, the Canada defence worked well to shut down the most dangerous routes into the circle. As England attempted to break through the Canada defensive line, the combined efforts of the back line and midfield shut down, intercepted and cleared with a regularity that was frustrating for England. While the whole defence was digging deep, the composure of Karli Johansen, Melanie Scholz and Sara Goodman set the standard.

England upped the ante in the second quarter and the pressure on the Wolf Pack intensified. Hannah Martin, Eleanor Rayer and Flora Peel were all running at the defence, using all their skill and pace in attempts to make things happen.

The breakthrough came from England’s third penalty corner. Anna Toman resorted to a no-nonsense slap hit, which evaded the otherwise excellent Rowan Harris in the Canada goal. In fact, at the half-time break, Harris had registered eight saves and can be credited with keeping her team within touching distance. A rare Canada attack led to a shot from Madeline Secco just before the half-time break, but the shot flew wide and Maddie Hinch was not called upon to make a save.

A half-time announcement that England had won the European football final gave stirred the crowd further and the England team re-entered the pitch galvanised by an enthusiastic crowd.

As the match moved towards its final stages, Canada began to create their own chances. Some fabulous 3D skills from Natalie Sourisseau showed that there was plenty of ambition among the Canada squad. However, England’s defence have some experienced heads within the ranks and the Canadian attacks came to nothing.

England came close to creating a second chance but an important interception by the hard-working Sara McManus removed that danger. With one last throw of the dice, Head Coach Rob Short removed Harris with just over one minute left to play. The team looked to find a way through the England ranks but, having worked hard to get a 1-0 lead, England were not letting go.

Shona Mcallin (ENG): “We played really well in the first half. We created a lot of opportunities and they had nothing.

“In the second half, we let ourselves down a bit with the basics: being sloppy, not keeping our standards up, and letting the emotion get to us with the frustration of not scoring as many as we should have. They [Canada] fed on that.”

South Africa 0 Australia 5 (Pool B women)

Australia put on a dominant display against South Africa and take an important 3 points.

Despite the one-sided score line it was South Africa that had the opening chance of the game, Kristen Paton seeing her effort saved by Aussie keeper Jocelyn Bartram. However, Australia did take the lead after 3 minutes, via a Penny Squibb goal from a penalty corner. Further chances came and went for Australia in the opening 15 minutes but the score remained 1-0.

The second period was one of frustration for Australia, who created chance after chance but were met with dogged South African defence. The Aussies peppered the goal but could not find a breakthrough in the second period as the players headed in for half time at 1-0.

Australia kept up their attacking intent in the third quarter, and this time found a way through, Renee Taylor scoring from a penalty corner in the 32nd minute. Minutes later Stephanie Kershaw put the Aussies 3-0 up and looking comfortable. Chances followed for both sides in the remainder of the quarter but no further goals were added.

Inside the first minute of the final period Australia found the back of the next yet again, Kaitlin Nobbs firing home a penalty stroke. Penny Squibb then added a 5th for the Aussies from a penalty corner as the points were comprehensively wrapped up.

Day 3 preview:

Day 3 of the tournament begins with women’s action as Wales are in action taking on Ghana at 9:00. A game that both sides will be looking to win as they both sit on 0 points from 2 games played in Pool A. That’s followed by Scotland vs Kenya in Pool B at 11:00. The afternoon session moves over to  the men’s competition, starting with bottom of Pool A Scotland taking on South Africa at 14:00. At 16:00 England will be looking to make it 3 wins from 3 against India. The evening session starts with the bottom 2 in Pool B, Canada and Ghana facing off at 19:00 before a blockbuster match up as Australia take on New Zealand at 21:00.


Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

31 July 2022 Results Men’s Competition

Match #1

New Zealand 4 Pakistan 1 (Pool A men)

Umpires: Daniel Barstow (GBR) Tyler Klenk (CAN) Sean Rapaport (RSA-video)

Match #2

Australia 12 vs Scotland 0 (Pool A men)

Umpires: Deepak Chandra Joshi (IND) Bruce Bale (ENG) Nick Bennett (ENG-video)

Match #3

England 4 Wales 2 (Pool B men)

Umpires: Stephen Rogers (AUS) Sean Rapaport (RSA) David Tomlinson (NZL-video)

Match #4

India 11 Ghana 0 (Pool B men)

Umpires: Fraser Bell (SCO) Tim Bond (NZL) Peter Obalo Kabaso (KEN-video)

31 July 2022 Result’s Women’s Competition

Match #1

Canada 0 England 1 (Pool A women)

Umpires: Cookie Tan (SGP) Aleisha Neumann (AUS) Wanri Venter (RSA-video)

Match #2

South Africa 0 Australia 5 (Pool B women)

Umpires: Rachel Williams (ENG) Amber Church (NZL) Hannah Harrison (ENG)


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