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Repton trio in Commonwealth Games joy

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 02, 2014

GET IN THERE ... England's Lily Owsley celebrates her opening goal against New Zealand.

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ELLIE Watton helped England guarantee Commonwealth Games hockey silver – but it's gold she wants in a crunch clash with favourites Australia in Glasgow tonight.

Goalkeeper Maddie Hinch was the England hero, pulling off three saves in a penalty shoot-out semi-final win over New Zealand.

Lily Owsley gave England a 27th-minute lead but Katie Glynn equalised for the Black Sticks with only two minutes remaining.

But Hinch kept her nerve as England dominated the shoot out 3-1, thanks to goals from former Repton School pupilsGeorgie Twigg and Susie Gilbert, along with forward Alex Danson.

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After a nightmare World Cup campaign, this was arguably the best England performance in months but they'll need to find another level against three-time gold medallists Australia in the final.

The Hockeyroos have been totally dominant in Glasgow and were 7-1 winners in their semi-final against South Africa, taking their goal tally to 32 from only five matches.

But their 'worst' result was a 3-0 win over England in the group stage – and Watton, the third former Repton School pupil in the squad, has reasons for optimism.

"The last few minutes were not great but we held it together and got the result we deserved," said Watton.

"My heart was pounding but we got ahead in the penalty shoot-out early and that settled the nerves a little bit.

"We've worked so hard since the World Cup, showed lots of character and we've come back fighting.

"We played well against Australia in the pool match and we've learned a lot of lessons.

"They are really strong at penalty corners, so we can't give them away. We need to stay tight at the back and not give them the opportunities to hurt us."

England have never won hockey gold at the Commonwealth Games, settling for silver in 1998 and 2002 and bronze at the last two editions at Melbourne 2006 and Delhi 2010.

And inspirational captain Kate Richardson-Walsh, who will make a decision on her future in the sport after Glasgow, insists that could change despite the odds being stacked against them.

"I thought we played well against Australia in the pool stages. We need to capitalise on the errors they make," she said.

"I think it will be a race between our midfielders and forwards against their back-line players.

"We have to be brave and take them on. We need to go at them but all games against Australia are good games and I'm looking forward to it."

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.

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