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Black Sticks stun Australia to progress to final

Black Sticks stun Australia to progress to final

Black-Sticks-stun-Australia-to-progress-to-final

The Black Sticks produced a scintillating 3-2 win over Australia to progress to the Hawke’s Bay Cup final

The Black Sticks Women have produced a scintillating 3-2 win over defending champions Australia to progress to the Hawke’s Bay Cup final.

Down by two goals in the first half, the Black Sticks grabbed the game by its scruff and scored three unanswered goals in front of a rowdy home crowd.

Strikers Charlotte Harrison and Olivia Merry scored late in the first half to equalise before Pippa Hayward delivered the winning blow in the 45th minute.

The result was all the sweeter for the Black Sticks with Stacey Michelsen playing her 200th test and Julia King her 100th.

New Zealand will battle it out for the title against Japan at 5:15pm tomorrow, while Australia are left to play China in the bronze medal match.

All games from finals day will be streamed live at hockeynz.co.nz/Video

Black Sticks head coach Mark Hager said the result was a significant achievement for his team.

“This is huge for us – we haven’t beaten Australia in a crucial game like this since the London Olympics so to finally turn the tables is a real confidence booster for our group, he said.

“I was very pleased with the girls and even going 2-0 down we didn’t give up. We knew the way we were playing was going to create chances so it was pleasing to put them away.

“Aussie made it really tough on us and turned our ball over a fair bit but credit to our defence we scrambled well and I’m pleased we stuck to the game plan which gives us a lot of belief moving forward.”

The Black Sticks looked dangerous in the opening stages, but it was the Hockeyroos who grabbed the opening goal after Kathryn Slattery flicked in a loose ball at the end of the first quarter.

Australia extended the lead in the 22nd minute with Slattery running the ball through traffic and catching goalkeeper Sally Rutherford wrong footed.

Trailing by two, the Kiwis lifted and quickly responded through a well-executed move which saw Harrison pull one back for her side.

Right on the stroke of halftime the Black Sticks equalised following a strong ball into the circle which Merry tapped in.

Just seconds out from three quarter time the crowd went wild when Gemma Flynn sent a crash ball into the circle where Hayward pounced and scored to give her side a 3-2 lead.

Australia fought desperately to find a levelling goal in the dying minutes but the Black Sticks remain stoic on defence.

Meanwhile, one goal was enough for Japan to defeat China and progress to the final. Japan came into their semi after topping their pool and beating India in the quarter finals.

Hawke’s Bay Cup – Semi Finals
Sunday 10th April

7th/8th Playoff

Korea vs Canada

10:00am

5th/6th Playoff

Ireland vs India

12:45pm

Bronze Game

China vs Australia

3:00pm

Final

Black Sticks vs Japan

5:15pm


CLICK HERE for more on the Hawke’s Bay Cup

BLACK STICKS 3: (Charlotte Harrison, Olivia Merry, Pippa Hayward)
AUSTRALIA 2: (Kathryn Slattery 2)
Halftime: 2-2

  • April 9th, 2016 in
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