ALEX Danson insists the best is still to come from England’s women’s hockey team after she helped them into the Commonwealth Games semi-finals today at the expense of hosts Scotland.
In a dramatic clash with the home favourites it was Southampton-born Danson who put England in front with a deft finish before the lead was doubled ten minutes later by Susannah Townsend from a penalty corner.
However Scotland, who needed to win to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout rounds, responded just before the interval through Nikki Kidd.
And after the break England’s defence was stretched to the limit as the hosts pushed for an equaliser but goalkeeper Maddie Hinch and her back line held firm to seal a 2-1 victory.
And with a probable semi-final match-up with New Zealand next up for Danson, she is confident we have not seen the best of England yet up in Glasgow.
“We are obviously delighted with the win, the game was exactly what we thought it was going to be it, it was tight and Scotland had obviously done their homework,” said former Trojans player. “They won lots of corners but we are delighted, we stuck to our task and are over the moon to be building momentum for the next game.
“We are so delighted to be in the semi-finals, it’s been a big competition from day one because we had a lot to prove to ourselves.
“But for us it is all about building momentum and every time we have done that.
“If it is New Zealand that we are playing we will prepare hard, we know it will be a tight game again but a good showcase and hopefully a great match.”
Four years ago at Delhi 2010 England’s women reached the knockout stages as well, returning home with the bronze medal around their necks.
Since then they have also added Olympic bronze – along with the home nations as Britain – at London 2012 and head coach Danny Kerry is delighted with what he has seen from Danson and England thus far.
“The first-half was very good, Scotland over exposed themselves and we exploited that,” he added.
“In the second half Scotland stepped up and that generated some anxiety but in the last ten minutes we got some good experienced players on the pitch and that allowed us to see it out.
“New Zealand have a lot of a pace and a relatively experienced side with many Olympians in that group.
“We need to deal with their pace fundamentally, and once we have done that, we have got a foothold in the game.”
Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.