Black Sticks women miss out on bronze
Sat, 11 Aug 2012 4:06a.m.
New Zealand women's hockey's most successful Olympic campaign has fallen short of claiming a medal, after Great Britain grabbed bronze with a 3-1 win in London.
All three British goals came from second-half penalty corners, with Alex Danson, Crista Cullen and Sarah Thomas finding the net.
Stacey Michelsen scored a consolation goal with three minutes to go at the Riverbank Arena.
Backed by a capacity crowd, including the Duchess of Cambridge, and with a brass and drum quartet belting out in the stands, the home side were the more dangerous on attack.
New Zealand had their opportunities, but struggled to breach a tight opposition defence.
The British had the two great chances in the opening spell, both from penalty corners, but Black Sticks keeper Bianca Russell blocked both.
The Black Sticks won a short corner of their own in the shadow of half-time and Clarissa Eshuis fired a ball from the top of the circle towards Charlotte Harrison, who just couldn't direct it goalwards.
Early in the second half, Katie Glynn, sporting a bandage to cover the head wound from a blow from a Dutch stick in the semi-final, came agonisingly close to opening the score.
Fed by Cathryn Finlayson, Glynn saw her deflection beat keeper Elizabeth Storry, but rebound off a post.
Great Britain hit the front in the 45th minute, Danson diving to guide in a drag flick from skipper Kate Walsh.
Further goals from Cullen and Thomas meant there was only one likely destination for the bronze medal with eight minutes to go.
But New Zealand had the final say, with Michelsen producing a neat deflection into the net from a penalty corner.
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