Canterbury’s Dilly Newton scored on her senior England debut at the Investec Challenge in Cape Town as England fielded a further eight young prospects for the first time against the hosts South Africa. Despite a 4-1 defeat, the match was a well fought affair with South Africa goalkeeper Vuyisanani Mangisa pulling off a string of top saves to deny England.
By the time Newton’s well struck penalty corner hit the backboard with four minutes remaining however the hosts had already secured the points, running out 4-1 winners thanks to a series of well executed set pieces from their experienced stars.
Leading the team at the Investec Challenge, Coach Karen Brown said afterwards: “It was more even than the score suggests but their penalty corner routines were a bit slicker than ours, which is to be expected. South Africa has recently hosted the World League and have been together for the past six weeks or so. Overall I’m pretty happy with the performance.”
Newton, who has seven appearances for Great Britain, was one of nine athletes pulling on the England vest for the first time. Loughborough Students’ Giselle Ansley, Surbiton’s Sarah Haycroft, Leicester’s Jo Hunter, Clifton’s Jo Leigh and Beeston’s Hollie Webb all started the match while Steph Elliott of University of Durham, Lauren Turner of HDM and Beeston’s Ellie Watton all came off the bench for their senior international debuts. Reading’s Sam Quek missed the match after sustaining a facial injury in a training match in the build-up to the tournament.
England fell behind to an early penalty corner flick from Pietie Coetzee, the world’s top goal scorer, whose 259th strike of her career set South Africa on their way. Midfielder Tarryn Bright added a second for Investec SA just two minutes before the break. It might have been different had England not been thwarted by a series of excellent saves by Mangisa, including two one-on-ones.
England created opportunities to get back into the match but were unable to take them and South Africa’s superior experience told during a ten minute spell in the second half that saw Coetzee add a third - her 13th in six games - before captain Marsha Marescia made it 4-0. When it came, England were deserving of their goal from Newton, who shot low into the bottom left corner from a penalty corner.
England’s young side has less than 24 hours to wait before taking on Olympic gold medallists the Netherlands in their second match at the Investec Challenge. The Dutch fought back to share the spoils in a 2-2 with Australia earlier on day one. Highlights from both matches can be seen by clicking the above video.
Earlier on Monday, Jason Lee was announced as the new Head Coach of the England women’s squad. Lee will move from his post as Head Coach of the England men, which he has held for nearly ten years.
ENGLAND TEAM v SOUTH AFRICA
Giselle Ansley (Loughborough Students)
Susie Gilbert (co-capt) (Reading)
Sarah Haycroft (Surbiton)
Beckie Herbert (Pinoke (NED))
Maddie Hinch (GK) (Leicester)
Jo Hunter (Leicester)
Jo Leigh (Clifton)
Dilly Newton (Canterbury)
Susannah Townsend (Canterbury)
Laura Unsworth (co-capt) (Loughborough Students)
Hollie Webb (Beeston)
Sophie Bray (MOP (NED))
Steph Elliott (University of Durham)
Lauren Turner (HDM (NED))
Nic White (Leicester)
Ellie Watton (Beeston)
Did Not Play
Kirsty Mackay (GK) (Bowdon)
Sam Quek (Reading)
INVESTEC CHALLENGE FIXTURES & RESULTS
Monday 4 February
18:00 local time - 16:00 GMT - Australia v Netherlands – 2-2
20:00 local time - 18:00 GMT - South Africa v England – 4-1
Tuesday 5 February
18:00 local time - 16:00 GMT - Netherlands v England
20:00 local time - 18:00 GMT - South Africa v Australia
Wednesday 6 February - Rest Day
Thursday 7 February
18:00 local time - 16:00 GMT - Australia v England
20:00 local time - 18:00 GMT - South Africa v Netherlands
Friday 8 February - Rest Day
Saturday 9 February
15:00 local time - 13:00 GMT - Semi Final 1: 1st v 4th
17:00 local time - 15:00 GMT - Semi Final 2: 2nd v 3rd
Sunday 10 February
12:00 local time - 10:00 GMT - Bronze medal match
14:00 local time - 12:00 GMT - Gold medal match
INVESTEC CHALLENGE STANDINGS
1. South Africa (3 pts)
2. Australia (1 pt)
3. Netherlands (1 pt)
4. England (0 pts)
Source: England Hockey Media Release
Posted 11 hours ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...
Posted 18 hours ago.
The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey...
Posted 1 day ago.
The Black Sticks Men have lost 1-0 against Korea at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight in a game full of speed and...
Posted 2 days ago.
I heard on the news yesterday that Africa has seven of the fastest growing economies in the world. Africa is reputed...
Posted 2 days ago.
Korea have beaten the Black Sticks Men 2-1 in the fourth test at Pukekohe this afternoon despite an improved...
Posted 3 days ago.
EHL Final Four hosts HC Bloemendaal have been crowned Euro Hockey League champions for a second time after winning a...