Hockey side walloped 16-0 by New Zealand
The Kenyan women’s hockey team had a disastrous start to their Commonwealth Games debut after suffering a 16-0 loss at the hands of New Zealand on Friday morning.
The New Zealanders were emphatic in their performance, leading 9-0 at halftime with a 3-0 score at the end of the first quarter and 6-0 at the end of the second.
Olivia Shannon and kipper Olivia Merry scored a hattrick each, Stephanie Dickins, Kaitlyn Cotter, Megan Hull and Alia Jaques netted a brace each while Alex Lukin and Rose Tynan scored one goal apiece.
Kenya is in Group B alongside defending champions New Zealand, and 2014 winners Australia, Scotland and South Africa.
Group A has India, Canada, Wales, Ghana and England. The Kenyan ladies will play Australia on Saturday from 4 pm local time. Kenya will then battle Scotland on August 1 at 11 am (EAT) before they complete their group matches with a clash against African giants South Africa on August 2 (4 pm).
Speaking after the games, Kenya head coach Jackie Mwangi said she believes in the girls and they have prepared timely for the games despite the result saying otherwise.
“It is a good opportunity for the girls to play against some of the best players and teams in the world. We have a blend of experience and youth which is healthy for the team. I know they are going to show that we can also play hockey at the highest level,” the former Blazers striker stated.
The top two teams in each pool will qualify for the semi-final. Meanwhile, England began their netball title defence in dominant style with a 74-22 victory against Trinidad and Tobago.
After a slow start they cannot afford against stronger opponents, England found their groove and led 37-9 at the break at a packed NEC in Birmingham.
Their stranglehold tightened, with the introduction of substitutes doing little to slow the hosts’ charge. England’s unexpected win over Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games is regarded as their greatest victory.
They also face competition from New Zealand in Group B, with other favourites Australia and Jamaica in Group A, as they bid for gold on home soil.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been cheered so loudly for a warm-up,” Birminghamborn wing defence Stacey Francis-Bayman stated.