Mixed fortunes on day one of Hockey Festival
The International Festival of Hockey kicked off at Melbourne’s State Netball and Hockey Centre today, with the Hockeyroos taking part in a three-game test against India, and the Kookburras in a four nations competition with India, Malaysia, and New Zealand.
The Kookaburras came away with a 3–2 win over India, while the Hockeyroos were defeated by India 1–nil.
The Hockeyroos took on India first, and quarter one saw both teams pressing without any luck converting goals. India were the first up on the board after Rani managed to score a penalty corner at the 21st minute of the match, leaving the Hockeyroos going into the half time break knowing they had some work to do.
The Hockeyroos came back on the attack, which resulted in some excellent hockey with Australia retaining possession for most of the third quarter. The Hockeyroos almost had a chance to level the field in the 40th minute after Laura Barden raced to a free ball and passed to Murphy Allendorf in the circle, but the shot on goal went just high of the net.
Ashlee Wells made a fantastic save when India tried to double their lead with two minutes to go in the quarter, and with only a minute to go the Hockeyroos had another chance to fight back with a penalty corner opportunity, but it was a great save by keeper Rajani Etimarpu that saw an end to the set play.
With 17 seconds to go the girls had one more chance, but they just couldn’t make the shot and they went into the final quarter trailing 1 – nil. The final quarter saw much of the same however and the Hockeyroos couldn’t pull it together going down to India in the opening match of the series.
Hockeyroos interim head coach Jason Duff said: “It was a really disappointing performance in the sense that we missed the start of the game. It was dis-jointed, we lacked composure and energy, and India were much more enterprising than we were.
“They shifted the ball well, and they penetrated well, not that they had a lot of opportunity in the first half, but the game was gone because we didn’t move the ball well. They were first to the ball most of the time, and at this level if you let them get first to the ball then they’ll beat you.”
The Kookaburras were up next against the India men, with the first quarter a fast-paced match up and both teams fighting to dominate.
India were up for a penalty corner first in the second quarter, and it was a straight save by Tristan Clemons before India were awarded another chance. Clemons saved the second shot and India were awarded yet another chance. This time the shot went in thanks to Rupinder Pal Singh, mirroring the 21st minute goal from the India women’s team earlier in the day.
In the 24th minute of play, Australia was up for a penalty corner and after an injection by Daniel Beale, Jeremy Hayward socked the ball into the top right corner of the net to level the score.
Thirty-six minutes into the game, and Hayward put the Kookaburras out in front with his second penalty corner goal of the match. Trent Mitton further extended the lead by flicking a goal in from a penalty corner deflection at the 43rd minute.
India were pressing in the final quarter to claw the game back, and their hard work paid off with Rupinder Pal Singh converting a second penalty corner with just seven minutes left in the game.
The Kookaburras held on for the remaining minutes of the match to take out their first game of the International Festival of Hockey.
Kookaburras interim head coach, Paul Gaudoin said: “It was nice to win today, the Indian team that we played are a very strong team so it was pleasing to come out with a win. Our penalty corner conversion was excellent, coming from the Olympics where it was poor, so that was fantastic. Our skill level was down a little bit but our heart and desire was there and I think that helped us get over the line.”
Earlier in the day, the New Zealand Black Sticks and Malaysia tied at 1 all, with Malaysia taking an early lead thanks to a penalty corner from Shahril Saabah before Jared Panchea tied the score at the 58th minute courtesy of a field goal.
News Source: Hockey Australia
Men’s Match Details:
Kookaburras 3 – Jeremy Hayward 24, 36 (PC, PC), Trent Mitton 43 (PC)
India 2 – Rupinder Pal Singh 21, 53 (PC, PC)
Half Time: 1-1
New Zealand drew with Malaysia 1-all
Women’s Match Details:
India 1 – Rani 21 (PC)
Half Time: India 1-0
Thursday 24 November
India vs Malaysia Men: 3pm AWST / 6pm AEDT
Kookaburras vs New Zealand: 5pm AWST / 8pm AEDT
Friday 25 November
Hockeyroos vs India: 4pm AWST / 7pm AEDT
Saturday 26 November
Kookaburras vs Malaysia: 12pm AWST / 3pm AEDT
India vs New Zealand Men: 2pm AWST / 5pm AEDT
Sunday 27 November
Hockeyroos vs India: 11am AWST / 2pm AEDT
Men’s 3rd vs Men’s 4th: 1pm AWST / 4pm AEDT
Men’s 1st vs Men’s 2nd: 3:30pm AWST / 6:30pm AEDT