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Canadians Deliver a Lacrosse Masterclass

The Canadians delivered a lacrosse masterclass to leave England winless in the World Championships in Denver yesterday.

Their first two games have ended in heavy defeats despite an impressive work rate and commitment.

A severe storm with the threat of a tornado again delayed the game start till 9.30 pm which eventually started in chilly conditions after the USA’s hard fought win over Australia earlier in the day.

Colin Clive got England off to a flier with a thunderbolt as fluid passing created the space for the strike.

Canada were shocked and even the scoreboard was caught out as the goal was chalked up to the Canadians. A sizeable England support bayed for a correction as Nick Anderton kept out three shots to keep England ahead.

But Adam Jones soon levelled it and England were caught in a slipstream of slick passing and rapier like surges all over the field.

England expected a mountainous task to tame face-off specialist Geoff Snider and tried a string of permutations including even  three long sticks at one stage but got little change from the MLL pro.

Fellow pros Mark Matthews, Jason Noble and Curtis Dickson were an attacking threat that proved every bit as unstoppable as the Iroquois’ Thompsons.

England hadn’t done an awful lot wrong but were 6-1 down at the quarter to a squad featuring 20 professionals. Andrew Baxter was thrown into the face and his abrasive style ruffled Snider and slowed their possessions.

But the Canadians brushed the increased physical approach aside as they fired passes at imaginative angles and pulled England’s defensive all over the pitch. Their inventive skills were on a par with the Iroquois and there was little England could do to stem the tide.

Dickson, the Colorado Mammoth marksman, underscored the dominance with a defence-busting pass to Adam Jones then a behind the shoulder feed to Matthews for a pair of stylish goals that made it 13-1 at half time.

England took the fight to the Canadians in the second half and derailed the conveyer belt of goals for a while. Baxter and Snider were scrapping hard at the face and the tussle attracted a flurry of penalties.e

England got one back when Tom Gosnay fired a lasered feed to Ady Bennett who shot low to high for a thunderous finish. But Snider won the next face – three passes and three seconds later, Matthews was popping home another on the crease.England trailed 17-2 going into the final quarter and Adam Prosser gave fans a lift with a great solo goal but the Canadians continued to thrill with clever moves and Olympic bursts of speed to shake off defenders and power in shots.

England face an Australia, who play fast and furious, tomorrow in a crucial match to determine who makes the Bronze medal play-off game.

Scorers: Ady Bennett, Colin Clive, Adam Prosser