Levitt nets winner in World Cup final

Di Levitt with her gold medal, after scoring the decisive goal in the Masters World Cup final in Australia.
Di Levitt with her gold medal, after scoring the decisive goal in the Masters World Cup final in Australia.

Sir Geoff Hirst, Jonny Wilkinson and Bridlington teacher Di Levitt - what have they all got in common?

They have all scored the winner for England in a World Cup final.

Di Levitt in action against Australia.

Di Levitt in action against Australia.

Levitt netted the decisive goal as England Ladies Over 55s beat New Zealand 2-1 to become world champions.

She said: “It was just amazing, a brilliant experience.”

Seven games in nine days in Australia presented a gruelling schedule, made more difficult by the conditions, with the final played in temperatures above 30C.

But Levitt kept her cool to put holders England 2-0 ahead, and despite New Zealand pulling a goal back, England held on to retain their title.

The winning England squad

The winning England squad

Levitt had already scored three times in the group stages and finished the tournament as second top-scorer.

“Every game is precious and having your gold medal presented and hearing the national anthem being played is something I will never get tired of,” she said.

“The event was really well supported and played at a wonderful complex.”

Levitt has been involved with the England set-up for almost a decade and was part of the squad which won the 2014 Masters World Cup in Holland.

England v Australia

England v Australia

This year’s event was held in Canberra but the deputy headteacher at Martongate School showed no signs of tiredness as she got off the mark in the opening game against Wales, which England won 3-0.

“We needed to go out a few days before the competition satrted because the jet lag is worse going out than coming back, because you lose a day,” she said.

After a 1-1 draw with New Zealand, England thumped the hosts 4-0 and Levitt was on target again in a 5-0 win over Wales.

She picked up an injury after a clash of heads in the second game against New Zealand, which England lost 2-1.

“The southern hemisphere teams play a very difficult type of hockey. It’s very physical,” she added.

Levitt had recovered well enough to score her third goal of the tournament in the final pool match, a penalty corner which was enough to see off Australia 1-0.

That put England second in the standings, and up against New Zealand in the final, who they had failed to beat in their first two attempts.

But they took revenge at the crucial time.

“My goal put the nail in their coffin and 2-0 gave us a bit of breathing space,” said Levitt.

She will back on England duty next month, at trials ahead of the Home Internationals in the summer.

“Competition for places is fierce at our age group. Some of the World Cup squad haven’t even been selected for trials for the summer,” added Levitt.