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A bittersweet day for Crystal Palace's Aussie skipper

By Phil Blanche

Joe Ledley hailed the courage of his Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak following the death of Australian Test batsman Phillip Hughes. Socceroos skipper Jedinak paid his own personal tribute to compatriot Hughes before Palace's 1-1 draw at Swansea on Saturday when he carried out a cricket bat, which he placed along with a ball and a pair of caps on the touchline.

Hughes, 25, died on Thursday after being struck in the neck by a ball while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield game in Sydney.

Jedinak made the poignant pre-match tribute and then scored from the penalty spot - his fifth goal in eight games - as Palace fought back to earn a prized Barclays Premier League point at the Liberty Stadium.

"Everyone in Australia is devastated by what happened, especially Mile being the captain of the Australia football team," said Jedinak's midfield colleague Ledley. "That goal obviously meant a lot to Mile and we're all behind him.

"It's been a difficult time for him but to go out there and play like he has done is fantastic."

Palace endured a torrid opening spell when Swansea's superiority was complete and finally reflected on the scoreline after 15 minutes when Wilfried Bony netted his sixth goal in seven Premier League games with a sharp shot on the turn.

But Palace levelled 10 minutes later when Jonjo Shelvey's clumsy challenge on Marouane Chamakh allowed Jedinak to score from the spot and Neil Warnock's side grew into the game after that.

"We did the same against Liverpool, we didn't start that well but we ended up coming into the game," Ledley said. "They had a good start but from there I thought it was 50-50 and on another day we could have gone on and nicked it on the counter-attack."

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