Hockey: Draw no help to Black Sticks

With just seven minutes on the clock, veteran Phil Burrows (pictured) superbly deflected a Stephen Jenness ball into the circle to draw the scores level. Photo / Getty Images.
With just seven minutes on the clock, veteran Phil Burrows (pictured) superbly deflected a Stephen Jenness ball into the circle to draw the scores level. Photo / Getty Images.

New Zealand's men's Black Sticks hockey team will have a tough quarter-final ahead of them at the Champion's Trophy in Melbourne after they were held to a 1-1 draw with England in their final pool game this afternoon.

The Colin Batch-coached outfit were in dire need of a victory having dropped their opening two Pool A encounters against Germany (3-2) and India (4-2) earlier in the week.

But despite a late rally the Black Sticks were unable to find a winner and the result meant they finished pool play as the fourth seed and will meet the No 1-ranked side from Pool B in the knockout stages.

Pool B is tightly contested with Australia, Pakistan and the Netherlands all in with a chance of claiming top spot pending the result of their final pool game.

New Zealand had to come from behind this afternoon after an early defensive lapse saw goalkeeper Hamish McGregor caught out of position and England's Mark Gleghorne took advantage as he put his team in front early in the first half.

After absorbing plenty of English pressure the Black Sticks eventually worked their way back in to the game and won a couple of penalty corners late in the first spell but they were unable to convert their chances.

After their early worries the New Zealanders also managed to add some steel to their defence as they kept the English attackers largely in check.

As the game progressed the Black Sticks managed to assert a level of dominance on the contest but struggled to find the elusive last touch.

Wellington striker Stephen Jenness started the game from the bench with a hand injury and he appeared to play through the pain as he had a glove on his hand.

Jenness managed to turn provider with only seven minutes left in the contest as he laid on a ball for veteran Phil Burrows who found the back of the net to draw the sides level.

New Zealand surged in the final few minutes but were unable to find a winner.

New Zealand's quarter-final will be played on Thursday.

England 1 (Mark Gleghorne 11) New Zealand 1 (Phil Burrows 63) HT: 1-0

- APNZ

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