Hockeyroos defeat Great Britain
Strikes from Kathryn Slattery, Mariah Williams and Ashleigh Nelson helped the Hockeyroos to secure their first 4-3 victory of the six-match series against Great Britain in Bunbury on Friday night.
Pleased with the Hockeyroos’ performance against world number six Great Britain, Australian Head Coach Adam Commens said, “We played well when we had the ball and pressed even better without it, this helped us create positive opportunities tonight.
“There were moments where our pressure was broken and there are obvious areas that we need to tidy up, however, I was pleased with our overall performance as a team.
“I thought Jodie Kenny and Anna Flanagan worked really well together in our defence and I was also pleased with our midfield when looking at our speed and ability to eliminate players. Mariah Williams and Brooke Peris’ performance in the midfield was a highlight tonight.”
In a productive first half, Australia managed to dominate the majority of the ball possession within their attacking circle.
In the tenth minute, Ashleigh Nelson successfully worked the ball to the top of Australia’s attacking circle, eliminating opponents before putting the ball onto fellow Western Australian Kathryn Slattery’s stick. Slattery finished of Nelson’s pass with a well-executed deflection, breaking the ice and putting Australia on the scoreboard 1-0.
Quickly retaliating one minute later, Great Britain responded well to Australia’s opener with a successful field goal deflection taken by Hannah Macleod, deadlocking the score 1-1.
With the floodgates open, goals started to accumulate. At the 19th minute mark, Great Britain’s Ellie Watton’s on-target strike sent the ball to the bottom corner of the goal, pushing the visitors in front 2-1.
Working together as a team and wasting no time, Australian forward Kathryn Slattery added to her night’s tally with a second strike at the 20th minute mark, deadlocking the match for a second time 2-2.
Seven minutes before the half time break, Mariah Williams’ impressive back-stick tomahawk hit target, handing Australia well earnt breathing space heading into the final 30 minutes of play.
Experienced Australian forward Nelson had the spectators on their feet after a quick deflection that Great Britain’s goalkeeper Maddie Hinch couldn’t deny, pushing out Australia’s lead, 4-3.
With 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Great Britain came back firing. Putting her body on the line, Sophie Bray managed to stretch out, making contact with the ball and slipping it past Rachael Lynch who was under the bar for Australia.
Opportunities came and went for both teams in the final 15 minutes of play but their execution in the circle ultimately failed them. On the final siren, Australia finished atop 4-3.
The Hockeyroos’ second match of the series will be played on Sunday at 2pm AWST at Bunbury Districts Hockey Stadium.
News Source: Hockey Australia
Match Details – Game One:
HOCKEYROOS – 4 (3)
Kathryn Slattery 10, 20 (FG) (FG), Mariah Williams 23 (FG), Ashleigh Nelson 39 (FG)
GREAT BRITAIN – 3 (2)
Hannah Macleod 11 (FG), Ellie Watton 19 (PC), Sophie Bray 40 (FG)