HOCKEY: GB women reach Olympic final

East Grinstead Hockey Club's Team GB trio Sophie Bray, Laura Unsworth and Kirsty Mackay SUS-160307-153244002
East Grinstead Hockey Club's Team GB trio Sophie Bray, Laura Unsworth and Kirsty Mackay SUS-160307-153244002

East Grinstead Hockey Club duo Sophie Bray and Laura Unsworth combined with West Chiltington-based Maddie Hinch to book GB women’s team in the Olympic final.

Great Britain reached the Olympic final for the first time in their history with a dominant 3-0 semi-final victory against New Zealand.

Alex Danson scored two goals plus a third from captain Helen Richardson-Walsh booked their place.

Danson gave them the lead in the 15th minute when she pounced to score on the rebound after keeper Sally Rutherford saved Crista Cullen’s initial shot.

The Black Sticks put Great Britain under pressure with their attacking play but GB defended bravely to retain their slim lead until half-time.

GB added to the scoreline in the fourth quarter as Helen Richardson-Walsh got up from being brought down in the area by Kayla Whitelock to score in the 48th minute from a penalty stroke.

Great Britain then increased their lead to 3-0 in the 51st minute from another penalty stroke.

Susannah Townsend played a brilliant pass to Lily Owsley who went on a blistering run towards goal only to be flattended.

Richardson-Walsh was off the field receiving treatment for an injury, leaving Danson to take the penalty stroke and find the net to the keeper’s right in fine style.

The final will be played against the Netherlands on Friday at 9pm. They beat Germany 4-3 on penalties after the open play finished level at 1-1.

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