England had to settle for the silver medal on Saturday night at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre after a heartbreaking shootout defeat to Australia in the final.
England were leading 1-0, thanks to Lily Owsley’s second-half strike, as time ticked down, only 11 seconds away from what would have been a brilliant and remarkable victory. But Jodie Kenny broke English hearts with virtually the last play of the game, firing in from a penalty corner after Anna Flanagan’s initial strike was saved by Maddie Hinch.
That last-gasp equaliser meant the gold medal would be decided by shootout and despite Georgie Twigg levelling things up after one each, it was Australia who held their nerve in the end to defend their Commonwealth crown with a 3-1 shootout victory.
Kate Richardson-Walsh, hockey, England captain
On the defeat: “It’s so devastating to take it so close to the wire and then with 11 seconds to go that goal went in, it is just heartbreaking. We had stuck to our task for the whole game and just those tiny moments, it’s just devastating. I’m so proud of the girls though after losing to them (Australia) 3-0 in the group stage but when it is that close, you want to be on the winning team.”
On the silver medal: “If you had told me at the last game of the World Cup, when we were in a play-off for 11th spot, that we would be in the final of the Commonwealths I would have ripped your arm off. It just shows where this team can go in the future.”
On her future: “Sport is cruel and that’s why we love it, that knife edge is what we play for, that passion and drive to win and that’s why it is going to be so hard for me to give it up. I am going to take some time to think about it because it is just so special. This is not real life, you are in a bubble in the Commonwealth Games, I need to take everything into consideration before I make the decision.”
Danny Kerry, England head coach
On the performance: “Given the age of some of the kids running around in this team, they have got an enormous amount of positives to take from that. We have just matched the team that have wiped everyone else off the park so I am chuffed to bits.
On winning a silver medal: “At the moment they are absolutely devastated however I think that when they wake up tomorrow and look at their silver medals from the Commonwealth Games and think that they have just drawn with Australia and have only lost one game in the last ten, they will be pretty pleased.”