Belfast Telegraph

Half-century for England's Mark Gleghorne

By Graham Hamilton

Ulsterman Mark Gleghorne will win his 50th England cap when he lines out against Australia in tomorrow's hockey semi-final (2.30pm).

Gleghorne and fellow Ulsterman Iain Lewers, who switched allegiance from Ireland almost five years ago, played key roles as Bobby Crutchley's squad beat Canada 3-1 yesterday to finish Pool B runners-up and earn a crack at Pool A winners and current world champions Australia for a place in Sunday's final.

It won't be easy against the tournament favourites – the Aussies knocked five past them when they met in the recent World Cup finals – so realistically the chances are that England will end up in Sunday's bronze medal play-off against either New Zealand or India.

Ashley Jackson scored twice against Canada to take his tournament tally to nine with skipper Barry Middleton getting the other before they conceded a late consolation.

India beat South Africa 4-2 to qualify for the other semi-final.

But Middleton admits he is relishing the chance to go head to head with Australia, despite their 5-0 demolition of Scotland in yesterday's quarter-final to continue their superb form., The latest goal spree brought their tally to 22 while, they have conceded just three.

Middleton, though, is not daunted by the prospects of locking horns with them.

"It should be fun, that's who you want to play in big tournaments," he said.

"We have set our stall out over the last few years that we want to be in the big games and be in semi-finals.

"We are consistently making semi-finals with this group of players but we will go out there, give as good as we get, and we have belief in the team that we can beat anyone on our day."

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