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Canterbury’s Dilly Newton scored on her senior debut but England made a losing start to the Investec Challenge in Cape Town.
Newton converted a penalty corner four minutes from time but it was a mere consolation as an inexperienced England side went down 4-1 to hosts South Africa in the opening game of the four-team tournament.
The 23-year-old made her GB debut in December 2011, winning seven caps as part of the performance squad in the run-up to London 2012 before being omitted from the final squad.
The defender was joined in the starting line-up by Canterbury skipper Susannah Townsend while the city club’s midfielder Jade Mayne was in the South African squad.
England face Olympic gold medallists on Tuesday evening, with the Dutch having fought back to earn a 2-2 draw against Australia in Monday’s other game.
Further games follow against Australia on Thursday evening with the semi-finals on Saturday and the medal matches on Sunday.
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