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Kent hockey stars involved in Four Nations action for England in Germany as World Cup 2014 preparations continue

By Alex Hoad

Several Kent players were in action as England’s men and women continued their preparations for the Hockey World Cup with Four Nations Tournaments in Germany.

England’s women - including Canterbury’s Susannah Townsend and Holcombe duo Maddie Hinch and Laura Unsworth - headed to Berlin, but despite taking a first-half lead in their opening game against Australia on Thursday, suffered a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the Hockeyroos.

The pattern was repeated when England took on the host nation on Saturday, a 1-0 advantage at the interval was let slip as Germany secured a 3-1 victory.

England did finish on a high in their final game against Japan on Sunday, taking a 1-0 lead at the break but this time adding a second to secure a 2-0 win and third place.

England’s preparations for the World Cup in Holland will continue at Bisham Abbey this week before they travel to The Hague next Monday.

They will begin their Pool B campaign against the USA on June 1 with other group games to follow against Argentina, Germany, China and South Africa.

Barry Middleton
Barry Middleton

England’s men headed to Dusseldorf for their own four-nations tournament, with West Malling’s Ashley Jackson to the fore, Holcombe’s Dan Fox in the squad and teammate Barry Middleton skippering the side.

England lost their opening game on Thursday 3-1 against the Netherlands in Middleton’s 200th England appearance.

In their second game against the hosts, the game was goalless at the break but two goals in seven minutes put Germany in charge.

Jackson pulled one back soon after with a trademark drag-flick from England’s first penalty corner, and 12 minutes later his side were level as England claimed a point.

Jackson was also on target against Belgium on Sunday but his rifled effort into the roof of the net two minutes from time was a mere consolation, as England were made to pay for missed opportunities with a 3-2 defeat which left them bottom of the table.

England first match in Pool A of the World Cup is against Spain on May 31.

They will also take-on Australia, India, Malaysia and Belgium in the group stage.

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