The Brisbane Blaze travelled to the State Hockey Centre in Adelaide to take on the top of the ladder Adelaide Fire in the third round of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League with both teams having several players unavailable due to national commitments.
The Adelaide Fire started the match strongly constantly putting the Blaze defence under pressure, however the Blaze were up for the challenge.
A fast break out of defence saw the Blaze score against the run of play with Ruby Harris finding the back of the goal, however she failed to convert her conversion opportunity leaving the Blaze 1-0 up.
The game evened out for the remainder of the first quarter with both teams creating several opportunities to get onto the scoreboard.
The Adelaide Fire started the second quarter the same as they did the first, putting the Brisbane Blaze defence under a lot of pressure. Just like the first quarter the Blaze managed to score against the run of play, this time through a penalty corner goal to Ashlea Fey.
The Adelaide Fire midfield continued their dominance, led by Gabi Nance linking up well with striker Miki Spano and the Adelaide Fire would consider themselves unlucky not to have found the back of the net going into half time.
The second half got underway with the Adelaide Fire crowd getting right behind the home side and Miki Spano did not disappoint as she found the back of the goals after a great cross by Gemma McCaw. Spano unfortunately was not able to convert her conversion opportunity due to some great goalkeeping from Hannah Astbury.
The goal seemed to pick the Adelaide Fire girls up with them dominating play for much of the quarter however the Blaze scored late through a penalty corner deflection from Britt Wilkinson leaving the Adelaide Fire trailing 3-1 going into the final quarter.
The Brisbane Blaze started the fourth well with another penalty corner deflection goal, this time through Layla Eleison leaving a tough task for the Adelaide Fire to come back.
The Adelaide Fire girls, through great ball movement through the midfield, created chance after chance which finally resulted in a second goal to Miki Spano getting the Adelaide Fire right back into the contest. However, again Spano was not able to capitalise on the conversion opportunity.
Both teams had opportunities to add to their goal tallies for the remainder of the match however neither goalkeeper could be beaten with the final score finishing 4-2 in favour of the Brisbane Blaze.
The Adelaide Fire, who remain on top of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League ladder, will look to bounce back against the Perth Thundersticks in their second home game on Friday night.
The men’s match started with the Brisbane Blaze coming out of the gates hard, however the Adelaide Fire defence was up to the challenge until the Blaze converted a penalty corner through Corey Weyer.
From there the Blaze looked to have the better of the chances of the two teams and this resulted in another penalty corner goal to the Blaze, this time through Joel Rintala who sent a drag flick high into the net.
The second quarter started how the first finished with the Brisbane Blaze controlling the speed of the game, however the Adelaide Fire looked to have more control through the midfield with Fred Gray and Alastair Oliver linking up nicely.
The Brisbane Blaze cleanliness on the ball proved the main difference between the two teams for most of the second quarter, with the Adelaide Fire defence under pressure. The pressure eased when a smart cross from Alastair Oliver was deflected in by Isaac Farmilo, his resultant conversion opportunity cannoning into the post to leave the score 2-1 in favour of the Blaze.
However, the two goal buffer was quickly restored courtesy of a great run from Jake Whetton leading to a penalty corner in which Joel Rintala converted to add to his tally for the day.
The third quarter saw the Brisbane Blaze move up a gear and place the Adelaide Fire under pressure through the midfield with Whetton and Daniel Beale showing why they are considered some of the best players in the world.
The Blaze capitalised on their only penalty corner for the quarter with Joel Rintala completing his hattrick with a nice drag flick into the bottom corner to make it 4-1.
The fourth quarter started with the Adelaide Fire having a lot of the ball and they looked a lot more controlled than they had in the previous three, however they could not find the back of goals.
The game resembled a tennis match for much of the final quarter until the Brisbane Blaze were able to capitalise on a string of penalty corners through Rintala who converted his fourth goal of the game.
The Adelaide Fire had some good chances in the final 2 minutes however the damage was already done, the match finishing 5-1 in favour of the Blaze.
The Adelaide Fire will look to get their first win of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League when they take on the Perth Thundersticks on Friday night at the State Hockey Centre in Adelaide.
Women’s Match Details:
Adelaide Fire 2 (Spano 33’/54’)
Brisbane Blaze 4 (Harris 5’, Fey 21’, Wilkinson 44’, Eleison 50’)
Men’s Match Details:
Adelaide Fire 1 (Farmilo 29’)
Brisbane Blaze 5 (Weyer 5’, Rintala 10’/30+’/45’/58’)