Final disappointment for Alex Danson and GB hockey team-mates

Basingstoke Gazette: Alex Danson and her team-mates celebrate a goal. Alex Danson and her team-mates celebrate a goal.

ODIHAM hockey star Alex Danson suffered heartbreak in the final of the World Hockey League as Eng-land lost 3-0 to Australia.

However, despite the defeat there was a silver lining for England as the side exceeded expectations and, by making the final, booked their place in the World Cup next year in the Netherlands.

In Sunday’s final against the Hockeyroos, goals from Ashleigh Nelson, Jodie Schulz and Emily Smith sealed the victory.

Danson said: “We’re disappointed to have lost in the final, but we’ve still got so much to give and we’ll come back fighting.”

The previous day the English women produced the biggest shock of the tournament as they beat reigning world champions Argentina 4-2.

England took the lead after 12 minutes at the University of Westminster sports ground after a stinging cross from Sally Walton was deflected into the net by an Argentina defender.

The world champions hit back through an unstoppable shot on the reverse stick by Carla Rebecchi but three minutes before the break, Georgie Twigg found White, who steered the ball home and restored the advantage.

Four minutes after the restart, a Townsend counter-attack was finished off in style by Hannah Macleod, who dived to glance the ball in.

Olympic silver medal winners Argentina got back into the match at 3-2 almost immediately as a powerful cross rebounded off an England defender’s stick.

However, Townsend sealed a terrific performance by the home side when she scored from close range after Danson and Sally Walton had opened up Argentina’s defence.

The victory came hot on the heels of a 3-2 success over Italy in the quarter-finals, with Danson scoring twice.

To make the last eight England came through a tough qualification group, which saw them open with a 4-1 win over South Africa and then 1-1 draws with Australia and Spain.

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