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WC2013: England v Australia (Bronze Medal Game)

England entered the field ready to play for it all against the Aussies with the bronze medal on offer to the winner. The two teams had already met in the group stages with Australia topping England 11-6.

England took the first draw control with Laura Merrifield rising to grab the ball out of the air, but Australia won the ball back and went on the attack. England had to play good defence from the start and they managed to force Australia into making a bad pass. With almost two minutes in the game, Lucy Lynch carried the ball out from defence onto an attacking position behind goal to set up England’s first attack. Spotting Sarah Taylor cutting through the fan, Lynch made a pass over the top of the goal finding Taylors outstretched stick batting the ball into the goal (1-0).

A second goal for England came as the influential Laura Merrifield, having two players on her, passed to an open Taylor to shoot for a two goal lead (2-0). This was a good start for England as they won the next draw with Asha Niven going to goal and getting a free position, which was saved by Sue Mcsolvin.

The Australian attack would force England to play some more defence and being held out, the Paton sisters scored a goal each to level the score (2-2). England answered straight back, Kirsten Lafferty finding Ruby Smith who couldn’t get a shot so passed to grey, who shot off a dodge with just over ten minutes played (3-2).

Australia levelled the score at 3-3 from a LaMonica goal before receiving two yellow cards within two minutes and at one stage having to play with two players short, however England did not manage to capitalise on the opportunity as McSolvin made two good saves. The game was swinging in favour of Australia as they went on a five goal run, Marlee Paton, Hannah Neilson and Sarah Mollison the scorers. Paton scoring one of the games highlights goals with a spin move before firing off a powerful shout into the top corner.  England get the deficit to four goals as Merrifield dodged from the top of the fan to score with eighteen seconds before the halftime whistle (8-4).
It took Australia forty seconds to score a first of the half with Neilson coming round the goal to put past Sally Keogh in goal for England. Paton leading the line for Australia took the score line to 10-4 with just over two minutes in the half. England fought back and on attack had chances, with Alex Bruce firing a shot which pinged high off the crossbar, but she would later set up Sophie Brett for England’s fifth goal (10-5)

With the clock running down, England pushed and pushed to get more goals, England’s defence repelled many Australian chances and the midfield did a good job of transitioning the ball into attack, but the Australian defence was just as strong and continued to shut out Team England. The game came to a close with England scoring one more goal but Australia doubled up scoring two goals to leave the field on a final score of 12-6 to the southern hemisphere team.

This game was all about finishing, which the Aussies were on form with. England had plenty of great attacking moments but could not get the time and room to finish. England come away from the game missing out in a hard and physical game missing out on a medal.