Commonwealth Games 2018: England 2 India 1
PUBLISHED: 18:15 14 April 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
England's men followed in the footsteps of the women's team by beating India to claim bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Having seen Sophie Bray hit a hat-trick in a 6-0 win for the women earlier in the day, the men were indebted to Sam Ward’s double as they also ensured they did not return home empty-handed.
Barry Middleton had the first chance, firing wide on the reverse on four minutes.
And England, including Hampstead & Westminer’s Harry Martin, took the lead soon after when David Goodfield won a short corner and Ward drilled a low shot home.
Chris Griffiths had a shot saved before Varun Kumar levelled for India just before the break.
And both sides had chances in the second half, with Phil Roper’s corner almost falling for Henry Weir, before Akashdeep Singh went close.
Ward restored England’s lead when firing home at the second attempt for his ninth goal of the tournament, putting him three clear at the top of the charts.
But after Ian Sloan’s corner was blocked, England came under late pressure as India pushed for an equaliser.
George Pinner made two good saves to deny them and Adam Dixon took a ball to the face and stick to the ribs as England held on to secure a place on the podium for the third time, following bronze medals at the 1998 and 2014 Games.
Ward said: “It’s down to the boys and the way they’re working at the moment to be fair. The way the squad’s playing, it just means creating these chances and I’m happy to be the one on the end of them at the moment! I’m sure next time it’ll be someone else.
“You don’t worry about it. At the end of the day, I’m not really bothered who’s scoring the goals just as long as we’re winning games. Another day it would have been other people, and I probably would have been even happier with a medal.
“Day by day, you’ve just got to keep fighting as hard as you can to be the best player you can be.
“I’m lost for words and that is very rare, I’m just over the moon and I’m so proud of all the boys.
“It’s a learning curve, obviously we lost to India late on and were pretty gutted in the final of the group stage, and that was a big learning curve for us and then we did pretty similar last night (against Australia in the semi-final).
“The fact we’re learning on the go, and now we can focus on our results and if we can do that and keep taking our corner chances it makes a big difference to us.”