CWG 2018

CWG Hockey: Sophie Bray hat-trick helps England rout India 6-0 in bronze medal match

England scored four goals in the final quarter to hand the Indian women their worst defeat in this tournament.

Indian women’s hockey team suffered a humiliating 0-6 defeat in the bronze medal match against England to finish fourth at the Commonwealth Games.

India could convert none of the five penalty corners and their defence cracked under pressure in the final quarter to finish the tournament on an embarrassing note.

India had beaten England 2-1 in pool matches but was outclassed on Saturday.

The last time the Indian women’s hockey team got a Commonwealth Games medal was in 2006.

Sophie Bray steered her side to win with a hat-trick (all field goals) while Laura Unsworth, Hollie Pearne-Webb (penalty corner) and captain Alexandra Danson struck a goal each in England’s commendable victory.

Navneet Kaur earned India’s first penalty corner in the eighth minute. However, it resulted in causing injury to Vandana Kataria as Gurjit Kaur’s furious hit rebounded off the England custodian’s pads and hit Vandana on her forehead.

The freak injury forced Vandana out of the field. India were given another penalty corner but the England defence was solid.

England captain Danson earned her team’s penalty corner, three minutes later, but Savita thwarted the danger.

Both teams played a measured game and the second quarter, too, was going to end without any goals. But two minutes before the break, India conceded a penalty corner and Hollie Pearne-Webb put England ahead.

Vandana took the field with bandage on her forehead and immediately made an impact as India got three consecutive penalty corners.

However, India could convert none as England goalkeeper Madeleine Hinch and defence line foiled all attempts. Indian players lacked variation and co-ordination to pull off the equaliser.

England, too, got its third PC soon but Hanah Martin could not beat Savita this time.

Two minutes were left in the third quarter when Sophie Bray found the back of the net with a stunning reverse hit from top of the striking circle, doubling the lead for England.

India had no choice but to go all out and succeeded in getting another penalty corner in the first minute of the final quarter but once again couldn’t convert it.

Sophie, though, was yet again bang on target as she consolidated her team’s lead. Sophie trapped the ball which came from Hanah Martin’s stick and beat three Indian defenders to slam it home.

Laura Unsworth, Sophie and Danson then put it beyond India by pumping in three quick goals.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.