England Hockey: Rogers off to a flier

TWO games, two wins for hockey star Chloe Rogers and her England teammates as they aim for commonwealth gold in Delhi.

The former Helena Romanes pupil has been a key member of the England team in the opening pair of matches, firstly helping them to a 4-1 win over Wales then scoring in another 4-1 victory over Canada.

Rogers has no doubt in her mind that the ladies world cup bronze medallists from a month ago will be going for gold when the commonwealth final takes place on October 14.

Speaking before she left for India she told the Dunmow Broadcast: “It should be a great experience and as athletes we usually go to some crazy places, but we just have to get on with performing on the hockey pitch and hopefully get a gold.”

Rogers’ Leicester teammate Christina Cullen has been the heroine so far during the tournament, netting four goals in the first two games. But it was Dunmow’s girl who took the plaudits first against Canada.

Rogers scored a crucial equaliser against the North Americans by deflecting a Kate Walsh penalty corner into the net.

Having created early chances England had fell behind against the run of play but they responded with a series of penalty corners. Cullen crashed one off the base of the cross bar but could only watch as it bounced down onto the goal line and was cleared.

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It was then that Rogers scored her first strike of the tournament and her side went on to win 4-1.

Following the match, head coach Danny Kerry said he was pleased with his team’s performance but criticised organisers for a match schedule that require players to play in the middle of the day.

He said: “We started brilliantly. We could have been two-nil up after two or three minutes but those chances didn’t go in. Canada scored against the run of play. They were well organised defensively but we ground it back to one each before half time.

“Canada didn’t really provide a threat in the second half and I’m really pleased with the girls and how we broke them down.”

HE added: “To ask players to play very good hockey in 40 degrees heat and 85 per cent humidity is not good because quite frankly it’s dangerous and it doesn’t make for good hockey.”

Captain Kate Walsh agreed with her coach’s summary, saying: “Fortunately we’ve got a brilliant strength and conditioning programme and I think that has held us in good stead. Credit to the girls because we worked really hard in the ten days we had after we came back from the World Cup and before we arrived here.

“I agree with Danny, playing in 40 degree is hard, hard work. You just can’t play for 70 minutes in that heat.”

England will take on New Zealand on Friday.