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Loughborough University

Beijing Olympics 2008

News from Beijing

14 August 2008

Women back on track with win over Blacksticks

Loughborough’s Lucilla Wright came off the bench to help her GB women’s hockey side to their first victory of the 2008 Olympic Games.

The team beat New Zealand 2-1 in a close contest between the well-matched sides. New Zealand were first to get on the scoreboard from a 29th minute penalty corner taken by Stacey Carr - Lizzy Igasan’s original shot was deflected by Anne Panter towards a watching and waiting Gemma Flynn who fired home in a diving motion to make it 1-0 to the Blacksticks.

Britain’s reply was almost immediate and came two minutes later when Loughborough graduate Lucilla Wright dribbled the ball into the circle from a Helen Richardson pass. Wright stumbled as she entered the circle, but recovered well and fed the ball across to Charlotte Craddock, who deflected the ball upwards towards a centrally placed Alex Danson who kept a cool head to direct the ball into the back of the net.

With 26 seconds left on the clock before half-time, Great Britain won another penalty corner from which they were convinced they had scored, but the umpire controversially ruled out Panter’s goal to leave it even-stevens at the break.

However, 15 minutes into the second half, Great Britain successfully converted a what turned out to be the deciding penalty corner with a well-worked routine which saw the ball pushed out by Panter to the top of the circle where Mel Clewlow feigned to strike, but the ball was crossed to Cullen who launched a powerful shot into the back of the net.

Great Britain move up to fourth in the table on the same number of points as third placed Japan and are in with a chance of making the semi-finals. If they overcome Japan and the USA in their final two pool matches and Germany do as expected against Argentina (Saturday) and Japan (Monday), the Brits will make the final four.

Loughborough graduate Danny Kerry, head coach to the women’s side is pleased with his team’s improvement.

“I’m delighted with the result and also in the manner in which we won,” he said. “Second half, we really went about our game.”

“We had a particularly poor start to the tournament in the first match, especially in defence. Then, against Argentina, I thought we were ok but needed to tighten up. It was always going to be tooth and nail and against New Zealand, it’s always going to be decided by one goal”.

Loughborough University - Beijing 2008

Beijing facts

There are 55 Loughborough athletes in action at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Did you know?

Former Olympic Champion Sebastian Coe is a Loughborough graduate.

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