Commonwealth GamesSport

Emotional Condon reveals why hockey bronze means the world to him

By Max Hall

Wimbledon Hockey Club’s David Condon said he was in tears after England secured the Commonwealth Games bronze medal with a 6-3 win over South Africa.

The influential midfielder, who played a big part in Team England’s success in Birmingham, along with SW19 teammates Liam Ansell and Jack Waller, was on a mission to make selection for his home games after failing to make the cut for GB at last year’s Olympics.

“It’s amazing,” said the 31-year-old. “On a personal level, I didn’t get picked for Tokyo so I was a little bit gutted about that and obviously it’s a long journey back.

“I’ve been training with this moment in mind so now it’s finally happened, I feel a bit emotional actually.

“I was in and out of the team for a number of years but coming back from our restart, after our break after Tokyo, I really thought ‘I’m getting on, I’m getting older’.

“My chances are getting limited so I really knuckled down and thought ‘I’m gonna go for it.’

“This is my last chance really, and at a home games, to go on the podium. My family’s in the crowd, they know how much I’ve put into this. It’s absolutely amazing. I was crying after the game.”

Team England secured bronze for the third Commonwealth Games in a row – and the fourth time in all – after a crazy, seesawing game against surprise package South Africa.

It had been a cagey affair until Matt Guise-Brown put South Africa in front in the second quarter.

Rhys Smith levelled and after Mustapha Cassiem restored the advantage for the South Africans, England levelled less than two minutes later and it was Wimbledon man Ansell who cracked home an unstoppable effort from the edge of the circle.

And the Wimbledon connection came good again 81 seconds later as Condon’s short corner saw the masked Samuel Ward drive home to give England the advantage for the first time.

The hosts managed to hang on to the lead for four-and-a-half minutes before a short-corner drive was expertly deflected home by Nqobile Ntuli.

After the break, Phil Roper fired England in front before Ward gave England a two-goal advantage less than two minutes later – creeping apologetically over the line via a combination of the keeper’s leg, pad and glove.

Zachary Wallace put the icing on the cake with a penalty stroke 86 seconds from time.

Pictured top: David Condon (left) in recent action against Belgium (Picture: Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire/PA Images)

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