Hockey: Debutant Leigh helps England to bronze medal

Joanna Leigh

Joanna Leigh

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Former Wakefield Hockey Club starlet Joanna Leigh celebrated her first England senior caps with a bronze-medal winning performance in the Investec Challenge, in South Africa.

Leigh, who played for Wakefield Girls High School and the College Grovers as a junior, was picked for the England squad that took on Olympic champions, the Netherlands, and strong South Africa and Australia sides in the tournament in Cape Town.

Despite suffering two defeats to the Netherlands and losing out to both the hosts and Australia, Leigh marked her fifth cap with a thrilling victory over the Hockeyroos in the bronze-medal game.

The English twice fought back from behind with goals from Sophie Bray and Susie Gilbert as the game ended 2-2 and bronze was secured with a 4-2 triumph in the nail-biting penalty shoot-out.

Leigh has also achieved selection for the senior Great Britain squad, with the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro a long-term target.

Read tomorrow’s Wakefield Express for more on this story.