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Maddie Hinch’s goalkeeping heroics see England through to Commonwealth Games hockey final

‘This is something I’ve longed for my entire career’: Maddie Hinch’s goalkeeping exploits lead England through to Commonwealth Games hockey final

  • Maddie Hinch made three saves in semi-final shootout against New Zealand
  • England now take on Australia in the Commonwealth Games hockey final
  • The 33-year-old’s exploits helped Team GB capture Olympic gold in 2016
  • Of course Maddie Hinch was the hero. When England’s exciting semi-final with defending champions New Zealand went to a shootout, all eyes were on the keeper in the ‘banana suit’.

    And just like in the Olympic final in Rio 2016, Hinch did not slip.

    Her four saves against the Netherlands in Brazil six years ago gave Great Britain their first Olympic gold medal. And here in Birmingham she didn’t let another penalty pass to keep England on course to become Commonwealth champions for the first time.

    England won in the shootout after the match ended 0-0

    England won in the shootout after the match ended 0-0

    The team's victory sets Australia in the Commonwealth final

    The team’s victory sets Australia in the Commonwealth final

    “I am now at the end of my career and this is something I have so desperately wanted my entire career,” said 33-year-old Hinch. “I’ll never get used to being called a hero. It’s very weird. I like to stay in the background. I think it’s these banana packs!’

    England lost to the Kiwis at this stage four years ago, but last night’s defeat would never happen again. After a goalless draw, Izzy Petter and Hannah Martin scored for the hosts and Hinch did the rest in a 2-0 shootout win.

    “Maddie gives us so much confidence,” Petter admitted. “She got up again and she was unbelievable. We have one game left and we can make history. It’s really exciting.’

    Their win kept the dream of an England women’s treble tomorrow alive. This morning the English cricketers face India in their semi-final in Edgbaston, before the netballers take on Australia in a sold-out NEC Arena in a final four rematch of their 2018 final. Tomorrow the hockey, cricket and korfball finals on the program one by one.

    England's cricketers earn a place in the Commonwealth final with a win over India

    England’s cricketers earn a place in the Commonwealth final with a win over India

    “Something like that is great for women’s sport,” said England and Warwickshire wicketkeeper Amy Jones, who grew up in Sutton Coldfield, just 30 minutes north of Edgbaston. “After what the Lionesses have accomplished, there is a real appetite for women’s sports right now.

    “We are very keen to continue that momentum and keep women’s sport in the spotlight. If it inspired girls to play sports or follow England women’s teams, it would be a huge success.

    “It would be incredible to be the first team to win Commonwealth gold (in cricket). We have all the motivation we need.’

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