FORMER Kelburne Hockey Club ace Emily Maguire is just one win away from the Olympic final.
The 24-year-old defender, who now stars for Reading Hockey Club, is expected to take to the field in London again tonight as the Great Britain ladies do battle with Argentina.
Team GB made it through to the semis after qualifying in second place in Pool A, behind the Netherlands.
Although they lost their final qualification match 2-1 to the Dutch on Monday night, previous results were good enough to take them through.
Tonight’s game starts at 8pm, and a Great Britain win will put them on a collision course with either the Dutch or New Zealand in Friday’s gold medal final at the Riverbank Arena.
That other semi-final showdown takes place today at 3.30pm.
The two losing teams from today’s semi-finals will play for the bronze medal on Friday.
Paisley woman Maguire and her British team-mates will be looking to cut out some of the errors that cost them in Monday night’s defeat against the Dutch.
Second-half goals from Kitty van Male and Naomi van As gave the Dutch a fifth straight win in Pool A.
But, with China losing 1-0 to Japan earlier in the day, the home nation were already guaranteed a place in the last four of the hockey competition.
Crista Cullen scored Great Britain’s only goal from a first-half penalty corner.
With Netherlands captain Maartje Paumen and van As looking in menacing mood, the Dutch set the pace in the opening period of the first half.
In the ninth minute, they had two opportunities to score following dangerous crosses from the left-hand flank, but neither tournament top scorer Kim Lammers or Kelly Jonker could make a connection in the scoring circle.
Then, in the 17th minute, Team GB goalkeeper Beth Storry was called into action for the first time when she made a clever stop to deny Maartje Goderie.
However, a previous foot infringement from Anne Panter in the build-up gave the Netherlands their first penalty corner.
The Dutch had failed to score from a penalty corner in over 20 attempts and their wretched record was to continue when a strong challenge from Hannah Macleod on Paumen cleared the danger from the set-play.
Alex Danson forced a penalty corner for Great Britain in the 29th minute after her shot cannoned off Sophie Polkamp’s foot.
And, against the run of play, Great Britain notched the opening goal of the game when Cullen stepped up to unleash an unstoppable low drive past helpless goalkeeper Joyce Sombroek.
Two minutes later, Macleod was penalised by the Japanese umpire Chieko Soma for a foul on Carlien ven den Heuvel in the circle.
However, Storry was once again the heroine in goal as she produced afantastic one-handed save to deny Paumen’s penalty corner strike and enable Great Britain to retain their 1-0 lead at half-time.
The commanding Storry was called upon once again three minutes into the second half when van Male broke forward from midfield to send an enticing pass into space for Lammers to run in on goal.
However, the 34-year-old veteran was quick off her line to beat the Dutch striker in the chase for the ball and cleared the danger.
There was nothing Storry could do about the Netherlands’ equaliser in the 43rd minute.
Van Male dummied van As’ cross in the circle and Georgie Twigg was helpless to prevent the ball hitting her foot and conceding a penalty corner.
A cleverly-worked set-piece saw van As inject the ball to Paumen, who returned it to the former FIH World Player of the Year at the near post – and van As’ first-time shot was guided into the far corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
With van As running the show, the Netherlands were always dangerous and they took the lead in the 52nd minute when Ellen Hoog’s reverse stick shot evaded the outstretched Storry and van Male had the easiest of tasks to turn the ball home.