Sue Crake says it is a dream come true to have won the Hockey Masters World Cup in Australia.
The Horsham third team player was part of the successful England side in the ladies’ over-55 age group which became world champions Down Under.
It was her seventh year as a masters’ player and she has revealed it was a fantastic experience to compete for her country against the best players in the world.
Fellow Horsham Hockey Club team-mates Suzy Clapp and Ian Brown both picked up silver medals in their age groups as they made the finals of the ladies over-40s and men’s over-55s.
Crake said: “The whole experience was just fantastic. The facilities at the National Hockey Centre in the Australian capital were amazing, three water-based pitches and seating for nearly 2,000.
“Having all the games at the same venue meant we could support the other ladies and men’s team competing and they could do the same for us. The atmosphere was something I have never experience before.
“The competition on the pitch was fierce with England, Australia and New Zealand dominating most of the age groups. England took seven teams out there and for all seven to be in the finals was outstanding, when you think we were the other side of the world.”
Crake saw out a 2-0 victory over New Zealand in the final for a gold medal, following four victories, a draw and a defeat in their previous games where she scored three field goals and a penalty corner.
Brown scored twice in the over-45s four victories, before their 3-1 loss to Australia in the final, while Clapp netted a penalty corner as the over-40s won three, drew one and lost one match en route to a 4-1 defeat in the final.
It was the Horsham ladies’ first-team player’s second silver medal with the masters, having finished as a runner-up at a European event last year.
Brown, who plays for the second team at Horsham, was also in his seventh year as a master.
Crake, who arrived back in England last week, said: “Winning the Masters World Cup is something you dream about and I am not sure it has really sunk in yet.
“Suzy and Ian came up against extremely strong Australia teams who went on to win the gold medals and win the cup, whereas in the over-55s it was New Zealand who were our toughest competition.
“They were extremely physical and to lose and draw with them in the pool stages was very disappointing.
“Although we were top of our pool going into the final we knew that it was going to be tough to beat the Kiwis.
“We were so determined walking on to the pitch and at the team meeting earlier we had devised a game plan to try to build on our strengths of keeping possession and using our stick skills. By half-time we were two goals up and we didn’t look back.
“All three of us have loved every minute of the World Cup experience in Australia and to bring home three medals really puts Horsham hockey club on the map.”
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