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England, Belgium and Pakistan left to battle it out
15 Apr 2006 13:45

Canada fought to the death, Ireland just couldn't take their chances, and the Egyptians ran out of legs; but all that matters at the end of the day four is that England, Belgium and Pakistan are left to battle it out for the top two positions in Pool A, while the others will jostle and keep dreaming of the fifth qualifying position for the BDO Hockey World Cup.

Heading into the tournament they would have been the pundits picks to be in this position; but the way in which they have had to struggle and fight each game for every goal and every point the pundits would not have picked.

England looked to be cruising early on day four, but the Canadians, who aren't having the best tournament by their standards, wouldn't lie down and kept coming at a polished English side until the final whistle.

Belgium took any early lead against the Irish, a lead they would never give up, but the way in which Ireland dominated the second half, and the penalty corner count for the match, showed they were certainly not to be outclassed.

And then there were the Egyptians. Leading 1-0 after scoring a late goal in the first half, everyone in the Changzhou stadium were following the fairytale story, accept of course if you were Pakistani. But they couldn't quite hang on, going down late in the match by a solitary goal.

It was a day the favourites shone through and proved their class, but at the same time a day the rest showed they can mix it with the best.

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