Page look­ing to lift the World Cup for Eng­land

Team’s cam­paign starts against Sri Lanka to­mor­row BLIND CRICKET

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Mar­ios Pa­paloizou tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

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