Comm Games: Govers, White join Eastham as golden heroes

COMMONWEALTH GAMES

Casey Eastham

Casey Eastham

Illawarra players Kieran Govers and Tristan White joined Albion Park's Casey Eastham as gold medal winners at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Sunday night.

The Australian men's hockey team beat India 4-0 24 hours after Eastham kept her cool in an epic penalty shoot-out, before captain Madonna Blyth secured the Hockeyroos' Commonwealth Games gold medal in Glasgow.

In a rain-soaked final against England, goal-scoring machine Jodie Kenny scored an equaliser for the Hockeyroos with just 15 seconds left on the clock to make the score 1-1 at full-time.

Then goalkeeper Rachael Lynch pulled off three brilliant saves to hand the Hockeyroos the most thrilling of victories by 3-1 on penalties.

It was a shattering defeat for England, who were ahead with less than a minute left in the match.

Down 1-0 with 24 seconds left on the clock, Australia were awarded a penalty corner, presenting one last attacking chance.

Anna Flanagan took the corner flick, only for it to be blocked, but then Kenny threaded the needle to score and send teammates into raptures and change the complexion of the match.

It's Australia's fourth Commonwealth victory from the five times that hockey has been contested at the Games.

They have proven masters of pressure situations, after also beating New Zealand on penalties to win the 2010 final in Delhi.

Eastham was first to the spot in penalties and bamboozled England keeper Maddie Hinch back and forth before finally squeezing the ball in.

Next it was England's Georgie Twigg, who managed to swerve around Australian goalie Lynch to square it up.

The door was left open for England when Australian Kellie White duffed the second penalty, only for Lynch to smother Alex Danson's attempt and make the ledger level again.

Then George Parker smashed her shot without worry, and Lynch backed up her efforts by saving another.

As if there wasn't enough drama already, Australia's hero Kenny turned momentary villain when she missed a penalty stroke.

Kenny had been fouled by the England keeper and was awarded a shot from the spot. However she pushed her attempt wide.

But after Lynch stepped up yet again, captain courageous Blyth put the pressure to one side and nailed the clinching penalty.

Coach Adam Commens had been confident that a goal feast was on the cards if his side could set an early foundation.

But as the rain tumbled, the goals failed to come and, after 48 minutes without a goal, it was the women in red and white who broke the deadlock.

In the clutch moment, the Hockeyroos came up gold.

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