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Second quarter blitz secures win for Hockeyroos over Great Britain

11 June 2019

HOCKEY: The Hockeyroos have maintained their third place ranking in the FIH Pro League after a dominant 4-2 victory over Great Britain on the weekend, while the Kookaburras were narrowly defeated in a 4-3 shootout.

The Hockeyroos unleashed a dominant few minutes in the second quarter, with two goals in the 18th minute from Madison Fitzpatrick and Brooke Peris, and another in the 23rd from Jane Claxton to smash the hosts’ confidence. However, Great Britain fought back in the second half to set up a thrilling finish.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Great Britain taking the early ascendancy. The home team were awarded a penalty corner in the seventh minute when the ball looked to have struck a foot in the circle, an immediate Australian referral revealed it was in fact stick and the original decision was overturned.

Edwina Bone received a vicious ball to the face in the 11th minute, forcing her from the ground with blood visible from a cut below the eye. She returned to the field after treatment and played out the remainder of the match.

After a goalless first quarter, Australia came out firing in the second - blasting two goals in less than a minute to flip the match on its head.

The first goal came via a penalty corner that was coolly handled by Madison Fitzpatrick, launching an unstoppable drag flick past the keeper.

Fourteen seconds later following a turnover in midfield, Brooke Peris drove forward and while sliding, cleverly chipped the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper.

The double strike looked to have rattled the home team, and before long, Jane Claxton added a third goal in the 23rd minute following a deflection from a Great Britain stick.

The goals didn’t stop after half time, with Mariah Williams able to put through a sweetly-struck reverse shot in the 37th minute to make it 4-0.

Great Britain won a penalty corner in the 43rd minute, and while Jocelyn Bartram made the initial save, the ball unfortunately landed in the direct path of Hollie Pearne-Webb who buried the chance.

They won four penalty corners to in the final term and made the most of one of them, with Tessa Howard firing in a rebound goal at the 53rd minute mark.

A yellow card to Mariah Williams meant the Hockeyroos were down to ten for the final five minutes which led to some tense moments but the team responded to the challenge in defence with Rachael Lynch stepping up in the final minutes with crucial saves to ensure Australia left London with the full three points.

The Hockeyroos’ next match is on Sunday night against fourth-placed Germany in Krefeld.

In the men’s match, Australia came from behind twice through goals to Jake Harvie and Tim Brand, to take the final score to a 2-2 draw at the final whistle.

With the scores tied, the Kookaburras created a number of chances in the final quarter but the Great Britain defence held them at bay. Australia were crucially down a man for the entirety of the last five minutes after Tom Craig was yellow carded in the 55th minute.

Great Britain made a desperate last attacking run in the dying seconds, but the shot was wide, and the shootout confirmed. The shootout was a thriller, with both goalkeepers desperately trying to keep their sides in it. In the end, the home team won 4-3, out to the delight of the vocal crowd.

Despite the final score, the Aussies still hold on to their number one ranking on the FIH pro League standings, ahead of Belgium in second and the Netherlands in third.

The men now travel to Madrid where they will take on 7th ranked Spain on June 13.

Hockey Australia / olympics.com.au

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