England's men secured a brilliant bronze after coming out on top in a nine-goal thriller against South Africa at the University of Birmingham.

A breathless second quarter saw England come from behind twice, take the lead and get pegged back in the last minute to leave the match all square at 3-3 at the halfway point.

But after the interval Phil Roper was on hand to slam home his seventh of the tournament, and it was not long until his eighth gave England a two-goal cushion in the final 15.

Captain Zach Wallace's penalty stroke in the dying embers made sure England's men would come away with a third successive Commonwealth Games bronze.

The skipper said the team drew motivation from watching the women clinch gold 24 hours earlier, when they made history in winning England's first ever Commonwealth title.

“It definitely inspired us," he said. "We were all down watching and cheering them on - we’re very close with the girls - and we were absolutely buzzing for them.

“At the same time, we don’t want to let them get too many up on us!"

There were a flurry of chances at the end of the first quarter as Nick Bandurak saw an effort deflected just wide and, at the other end, Ollie Payne made a fine double reaction save.

The goals started flowing and five were scored in just seven second-quarter minutes.

South Africa’s Matt Guise-Brown ripped a drag flick into the roof of the net and Rhys Smith soon cancelled it out from close range.

Mustapha Cassiem pounced on hesitation in the home defence to restore the visitors lead but England came roaring back.

A clinical finish from Liam Ansell, his third goal of the Games, drew them level and then Sam Ward dragged low into the left-hand corner to edge them ahead.

The lead didn’t last long as Nqobile Nutili deflected past Payne after a spell of South African pressure.

The third quarter was a tighter affair with both sides briefly going down to ten before Phil Roper crashed a loose ball through bodies and in to restore England’s advantage.

That goal seemed to snap South Africa’s resolve and England dictated the second half, pulling further in front when Roper bundled home amid a goalmouth scramble.

Roper added a second on 50 minutes to take his tournament tally to eight and Wallace added further sheen to the scoreline with a late penalty stroke.

“Going into the tournament we wanted the gold but I’m thrilled with bronze,” Wallace added. 

“The performance wasn’t amazing but we got over the line pretty comfortably in the end and I’m absolutely delighted.”