Battle for top headlines HC Melbourne v Thundersticks fixture

By Kate Allman

Hockey Club Melbourne hosts the Perth Thundersticks in a clash of titans between historically dominant clubs.

Both women’s teams recorded outright (non-shootout) wins last week, earning five points and shooting to the top two spots on the ladder as they prepare for tonight’s encounter at Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville (VIC).

Tickets are available through Ticketek.

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HC Melbourne Women showcased their defensive prowess by largely containing NSW Pride’s scoring weapons in their first up start. Former Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch will again need to be on guard if she is to keep the likes of Perth Thundersticks’ South African striker Line Malan at bay.

Malan showed off her deadly tomahawk in a stunning submission for goal of the week in Round 1 against Adelaide Fire.

The Thundersticks can also unleash Karri Somerville, a powerful drag flicker who found the net from a penalty corner last week.

Keep an eye on Melbourne sister act Amy and Josie Lawton. The former was nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year and won Player of the Match in Round 1. Meanwhile, her 17-year-old sister Josie is making moves to follow in family footsteps after a confident performance in defence last week.

In the men’s match, the Thundersticks currently hold equal first position next to NSW Pride. HC Melbourne’s Round 1 loss to defending champions the Pride is no reason to write the team off early (despite claims to the contrary by former Kookaburra Simon Orchard in this week’s Shootout episode).

Melbourne’s hometown hero Nathan Ephraums will be on the hunt once again after scoring a converted field goal last week and showcasing why he’s one of the best up-and-coming strikers in the world. His defensive teammates and goalkeeper Johan Durst have a task ahead of them though – shut down Kookaburras co-captain Aran Zalewski who netted a hattrick last week.

Thundersticks defender Jake Harvie is also emerging as a danger man; a metre-eater who uses the ball cleverly and can fire off deadly drag flicks when required.

Last time these team’s met HC Melbourne did the double, winning 3-1 in the women’s match and 5-4 in the men’s.

HC Melbourne v Perth Thundersticks
Friday 7 October 2022
Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville (VIC)
Match Start: Women’s 6:30pm local (6:30pm AEST), Men’s 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEST)
Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo #HCMvPTX #HockeyOne
Umpires: Iris Milham & Nicola Brown (women’s), Jim Unkles & Ben Hocking (men’s)

HC Melbourne Women’s team: 2.Aisling Utri, 3.Nicola Hammond, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Krissy Bates, 6.Josie Lawton, 7.Ciara Utri, 8.Hannah Cotter, 9.Carly James, 10.Rosario Villagra, 11.Joanne Peeters, 13.Megan Alakus, 14.Anna Moore, 15.Olivia Downes, 25.Hannah Gravenall (c), 27.Rachael Lynch (gk)
In: 25.Hannah Gravenall
Out: 20.Zali Ward

Perth Thundersticks Women’s team: 2.Kyra White (c), 3.Candyce Peacock, 5.Georgina Dowd, 7.Penny Squibb, 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 10.Sarah Byrnes, 11.Rachel Frusher, 12.Line Malan, 13.Neasa Flynn, 16.Karri Somerville, 17.Annie Gibbs, 18.Renee Rockliff, 19.Aleisha Power (gk), 25.Jolie Sertorio
In: 7.Penny Squibb
Out: 1.Kate Denning

HC Melbourne Men’s team: 1.Craig Marais, 3.Jonathan Bretherton, 4.Liam Henderson, 6.Damon Steffens, 7.Nathan Ephraums, 8.Lachlan Steinfort, 9.Trent Symss, 11.Cooper Burns, 12.Connar Otterbach, 13.Jayshaan Randhawa, 15.Josh Simmonds (c), 17.Kiran Arunasalam, 18.Johan Durst (gk), 20.Josh Bretherton, 21.Jake Sherren
In: 8.Lachlan Steinfort
Out: 10.Russell Ford

Perth Thundersticks Men’s team: 1.Chris Bausor, 2.Will Battistessa, 3.Tim Geers, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Bryn de Bes, 6.James Collins, 8.Brodee Foster, 10.Tom Wickham, 11.Tom Harvie, 12.Alistair Murray, 13.Cambell Geddes, 14.Liam Flynn, 17.Aran Zalewski (c), 19.Ben Rennie (gk), 24.Matt Willis
In: 14.Liam Flynn, 19.Ben Rennie (gk)
Out: 7.Tyler Lovell (gk), 16.Harry Golding