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Lynn Combes wins bronze at hockey Masters World Cup

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Balderton hockey ace Lynn Combes made a successful debut for England at the Masters World Cup in the Netherlands, winning a bronze medal.

One of five newcomers in the squad, the defender played in all of England over-40s’ games during the week-long competition, including the 4-1 bronze medal play-off success against Russia.

Combes, of Hayside Ave-nue, said winning a medal for her country was an amazing experience.

“We didn’t have any expectations going into the World Cup because we hadn’t played together much,” she said.

“It’s made me want to keep playing hockey at the highest-possible level.”

Combes earned a place in the 17-woman squad after impressing in trials.

The Masters World Cup was held in parallel to the World Cup, where former Newark Hockey Club player Adam Dixon represented fourth-placed England.

England over-40s began convincingly, winning all their pool matches against Ireland (3-1) New Zealand (5-2) and Netherlands (2-0) to top the group.

Combes said: “We became more confident and began to think we could bring home a medal.

“It was tough playing so many games without much rest and the weather was very warm, but we made good use of rolling-substitutes.

“Against New Zealand the temperature was more than 36 degrees Celsius, so we had to play quarters rather than halves. The standard of hockey was good.”

A 4-0 demolition of Wales in the quarter-finals was followed by a 2-0 semi-final defeat to eventual winners Australia.

Combes said: “Knowing we’d lost the chance to win the gold medal wasn’t nice, but Australia were good.

“We went into the bronze play-off knowing we had to win a medal, so we put ourselves under pressure.”

Combes will play for England in a home nations tournament this weekend in Swansea.

After the event, she will return to pre-season training with Midlands Premier Division side Boots.

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