HOCKEY: Goalkeeper James Fair has helped England into the semi-finals of the European Championship in Germany.

The 30-year-old from Pulford played in yesterday’s 8-1 rout of France in Moenchengladbach which guaranteed England a top-two finish in Pool B and their passage to tomorrow’s EuroHockey semi-finals.

England had earlier beaten Ireland 3-1 and lost 4-3 to the Netherlands.

Chester-born Fair, who began his career with Tiverton-based Deeside Ramblers and now plays for Cannock, said: “I was happy with my performance against the Netherlands, but possibly could have done more on one of the goals. We just need to keep building on each match.”

Yesterday’s big win over France propelled England into the last four of the EuroHockey competition, where they are likely to face host nation Germany.

The match would be a replay of the final from two years ago, when England stunned the world and Olympic champions by taking the European title.

Fair is also a member of the Great Britain squad and is one of Chester’s leading hopes for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.