Ockenden helps Kookaburras into semi-finals

Eddie Ockenden in action against India

Eddie Ockenden in action against India

HOBART’S Eddie Ockenden helped the Kookaburras book their place in the semi-finals of the hockey at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

A 4-2 defeat of India confirmed Australia as the only undefeated team in Group A with one preliminary match remaining.

In a repeat of the gold medal match from Delhi four years ago, field goals from Simon Orchard and Jake Whetton plus a Chris Ciriello penalty corner had Australia in a comfortable lead inside half an hour.

However, goals either side of half-time by Rupinder Singh and Ramandeep Singh spiced up the contest before a Ciriello penalty stroke confirmed the win.

Ockenden enjoyed 44 minutes of game time in what was his 153rd international appearance.

Australia’s final group match will be against Scotland at its national hockey centre on Thursday and Ockenden said he was looking forward to it.

‘‘They’ve had great support here and it’s a good little stadium and an awesome set-up,’’ the 27-year-old said.

‘‘Hopefully there will be another big crowd out and I love playing the home teams at these sort of events. 

‘‘Even though the crowd are not going for you, you still get a bit of a buzz out of them coming to watch hockey.’’

The semi-final will be on Saturday afternoon UK time against either England or New Zealand.

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