Page looking to lift the World Cup for England
Team’s campaign starts against Sri Lanka tomorrow BLIND CRICKET
KEVIN Haigh scored twice to become the league’s top scorer as Eastcote edged out PHC Chiswick 3-2 on Saturday.
Haigh extended his tally for the season to 12, netting his opener after a nice move working down the left-hand side, to cancel out an early PHC lead.
His second came from a short corner before Sam Forman added a third and although the hosts managed to reduce the arrears, Eastcote hung on for victory.
Page, who has Stargardt disease, is in South Africa as part of a 17-strong England squad looking to lift the World Cup for the first time.
The 23-year-old has a vital part to play in their endeavour according to Hunter who sees Page as one of the driving forces behind England’s bid for success.
England begin their World Cup
Eastcote are now within two points of pacesetters Oxford Hawks seconds and Oxford in MBBO Division One and will try to reduce the gap further at home to Maidenhead on Saturday.
In the same division, Khush Shah and Henry Stuttaford scored for Old Merchant Taylors’ as they lost 4-2 at Staines seconds. The defeat leaves them 10th in the table ahead of welcoming Wallingford this weekend.
Meanwhile, Eastcote Ladies fought hard for a point away at Henley as they drew 0-0 in South Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League campaign against Sri Lanka tomorrow (Thursday) and Hunter believes any team with Page in is always going to stand a chance.
“Matt Page is one of our B2 players and is a real competitor,” said Hunter. “He wants to win all the time no matter whether it’s a Division Two. It was a gritty defensive performance as they kept Henley at bay that included defending six corners in a row.
Helen Johnson produced a magnificent diving tackle at the death to make sure that Eastcote came away with a draw and with plenty to take into their final game of 2014 against Oxford Hawks on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Old Uxonians Ladies recorded a 3-2 victory over British Airways Hayes Ladies’ seconds as they climbed to seventh in match or training.
“He’s the type of player that you don’t want to be playing against in training because he’ll take you apart.
“But he’s exactly the type of player that you want to be playing on your team because he gives you a chance. He wants to win – plain and simple – and for us that’s what we need, someone who is always fighting no matter what.
“I think when you have someone like Matt in your team you always have a chance.”
After their World Cup opener against Sri Lanka in Cape Town, England face the West Indies, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, India and Bangladesh – all in the space of nine days.
And Hunter admits their third match of the tournament in South Middlesex Division Two.
Lorna Parr equalised for Uxies after Hayes took an early lead before a superb solo goal from player of the match Robyn Goodwin gave them the advantage.
Hayes drew level once more but Lisa Kinder scored from the edge of D to secure the victory for Uxies, who visit third-placed Staines Ladies’ thirds on Saturday.
In the same division, Old Merchant Taylors’ Duchesses beat NPL Ladies’ seconds 2-1 to remain fifth in the division ahead of their trip to British Airways Hayes seconds this weekend. Africa against Pakistan will provide the biggest test for Page and the rest of the team. There will be some really strong sides there and India and Pakistan will be fancied but we want to do well,” he added.
“But Matt’s a player that will do anything and give everything to get us over the line and help us to win and in any situation that’s good but in a World Cup it’s even better. As a top order batter he has a really important role to play for us and how well he plays will have an impact on how well we do.”
ECB is an inclusive organisation providing support and a pathway for disability cricket from grassroots to elite. Follow the England Visually Impaired Squad in South Africa at www.ecb.co.uk.
n QUALITY PLAYER: Matt Page of England Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images