(Photo: © FIH / Stanislas Brochier)

The women of New Zealand and South Africa continued their good form at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, being winners in two of the eight matches that took place in New Delhi on Tuesday.

It was the second day of competition in the hockey tournament, which featured action in both the men’s and women’s Groups.

England women – a team that recently claimed the bronze medal at the BDO FIH World Cup in Rosario, Argentina – began their medal hunt by defeating near neighbours and Group B rivals Wales 4-1. Star defender Crista CULLEN was in sparkling form with her penalty corners, netting three times to help her side to a comfortable victory.

That result saw England move level on points with New Zealand, but the Black Sticks continued their 100 % win record by overwhelming Malaysia 5-0. Malaysia held out until the 33rd minute when Anita PUNT scored from open play. That goal was quickly followed by a 35th minute penalty stroke conversion from Kayla SHARLAND. Open play strikes from Anna THORPE, Charlotte HARRISON and sister Samantha HARRISON rounded off another impressive display from New Zealand.

In Group A, Australia made their Gold medal intentions clear with a devastating 11-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago. Hockeyroos coach Frank MURRAY – who recently announced that he would be stepping down from the role following the completion of the event in New Delhi – watch no less than seven players register their names on the score-sheet, with Emily HURTZ claiming a hat-trick of field goals.

The other Group A match saw South Africa claim a narrow win against Scotland to ensure that they stayed at the top of the table overnight. Kelly MADSEN opened the South African scoring in the first half from open play before Pietie COETZEE scored her fifth goal of the tournament from a penalty corner shortly after half time. Scotland hit back when Alison BELL netted a penalty corner with over 20 minutes remaining, but South Africa were deserving winners and look a good bet for a place in the Semi Finals.

The first four games of the men’s tournament were also played on Tuesday, with New Zealand and South Africa claiming comfortable Group B wins over Trinidad & Tobago and Canada respectively. In Group A, Pakistan were winners against Scotland before a huge crowd witnessed host nation India edge out Malaysia in a thrilling match that finished 3-2.  India were forced to fight back from a goal deficit on two occasions, before a dramatic 66th minute field goal from BHARAT sealed the win and sent the supporters into delirium.

The action continues in the Major Dhyan Chand National Hockey Stadium on Wednesday, as some of the world’s biggest stars take to the field. Jamie DWYER’s Australia will do battle with Scotland, while Gold medal rivals England – a team featuring reigning WorldHockey Young Player of the Year Ashley Jackson – face Trinidad & Tobago.  The big game in the women’s tournament sees host nation India aiming to find form against an Australia team brimming with confidence. To see the full schedule, please click here. 
All official tournament information including match sheets, starting line-ups, tables and scorers can be found on the Commonwealth Games Results Website by clicking here.