Brisbane Blaze’s Women’s and Men’s teams have enjoyed a successful night at the office, accounting for the Tassie Tigers at the Queensland State Hockey Centre in the opening double header of Round 4 of the JDH Hockey One League.
In the women’s match, the visitors led 3-2 with 25 minutes remaining but from there it was one way traffic as the Blaze scored the last seven goals to run out emphatic 9-3 winners, Hockeyroo Rosie Malone with a hat-trick.
After a scoreless first half in the men’s match, Brisbane eventually asserted their authority as a double from New Zealand international Scott Boyde and Kookaburras forward Jacob Anderson, plus a goal from Luke Randle saw them run out 5-0 victors.
Hoping to repeat their stunning upset over the Blaze from last season, the Tassie Tigers Women started with intent, winning a penalty corner inside the opening two minutes.
While they could not convert from the set piece, the Tigers took a 5th minute lead when Phillida Bridley produced a magnificent finish, her quick-fire tomahawk leaving Blaze goalkeeper Jordan Bliss glued to the spot.
Bliss saved Bridley’s resultant conversion attempt to keep the margin at one, before Brisbane captain Morgan Gallagher blazed high and wide at the other end in the home side’s first real sight on goal.
Bliss was forced to palm a goal bound shot away before being called upon moments later to palm away another sharp effort.
The Blaze drew level in the 22nd minute when Gallagher blocked an attempted defensive clearance before following up and clinically putting her shot past Evelyn Dalton.
However, she could not repeat the dose from the conversion opportunity to leave scores locked at 1-1.
Three minutes later the Blaze hit the front when Savannah Fitzpatrick sent a shot through the legs of Dalton, but again the Tassie keeper managed to deny the added conversion to leave it 2-1 at half time.
Having regrouped during the break, Tassie put their noses back in front. Taylor Brooks fired the ball into the circle with intent and Jade Smith positioned herself perfectly between Jodie Kenny and Tatum Stewart to deflect it past Bliss and score against her former side. A successful Smith conversion suddenly had the Tasmanians leading 3-2.
That stung the Blaze into action and three Malone goals in the space of two minutes turned the game on its head.
Kenny extended the lead further courtesy of a penalty stroke and when Kendra Fitzpatrick skimmed along the goal line and picked out Ruby Harris to knock the ball in from close range followed by a successful conversion, the score had suddenly blown out to 8-3 as the home side finished full of running.
Gallagher mopped up a blocked Kenny swat from a penalty corner to round off a remarkable score line considering the Tigers twice led in the match.
“Tassie did really well in the first half to keep the pressure on and we said at the start of the game that they are a team that never gives up,” said Malone who was named Player of the Match.
“For us it is a matter of sticking to what we are good at and finding those quick passes and connections which definitely worked in the second half.”
“Hopefully we will build from this and not go backwards, which is what we did last year. I think we have come out and shown we are a team that is really building into this competition and when we work well, we really work well together.”
“With everything I have done, some of my best memories are my junior years playing for Queensland and I think that’s why Hockey One is so special because you get to play with the girls I did as a 12 year old.”
With Matt Wells joining the Burras for the Sultan of Johor Cup, Troy Elder took charge of the Brisbane Blaze Men against a Tassie team high on confidence after a character filled win over the Perth Thundersticks.
The home side had the better of the opening quarter, a venomous shot from Boyde that was headed for the top corner superbly saved by Henry Chambers in the Tassie net.
Despite the intent of both teams and frantic nature of the contest, nothing split the teams after the first 30 minutes.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 35th minute when Anderson put the ball on a plate for Boyde to finish well, the Black Sticks midfielder ramming home the conversion to make it 2-0.
Anderson then went inches away from extending the advantage when his shot on the reverse thundered into the post.
The Blaze had a third when Randle let fly from just inside the circle, the presence of Cale Cramer near Chambers enough to distract the keeper and see the ball hit the backboard.
Both sides’ cause was not helped with ill discipline that saw nine cards handed out, including three yellow cards for the Blaze.
Tassie’s first penalty corner came three minutes into the final quarter but aggressive first defender running from the Blaze blocked successive Jeremy Hayward drag flicks.
Anderson put the exclamation mark on a superb individual and team performance with a scintillating finish in the 58th minute as he beat two defenders and followed it up with a clinical conversion to give him eight goals in three games this season.
“It was a tight game, there were plenty of cards and it was very physical…Tassie are a really good side,” said Blaze defender Tim Howard.
“Credit to the boys. We needed everyone today. Playing parts of the game with nine players is tough. We just needed to stick to our structure and work hard to not let them score.”
Every match of the JDH Hockey One League 2023 Season is LIVE and free on 7plus.
Match Details – Women’s Match
Brisbane Blaze 9 (Gallagher 22’/59’, S.Fitzpatrick 25’, Malone 39’/39’/41’, Kenny 50’, Harris 57’/57’)
Tassie Tigers 3 (Bridley 5’, Smith 33’/34’)
Friday 27 October 2023
Queensland State Hockey Centre
Brisbane Blaze Women’s team: 1.Savannah Fitzpatrick, 2.Rosie Malone, 3.Kendra Fitzpatrick, 4.Claire Colwill, 5.Morgan Gallagher (c), 7.Jodie Kenny, 8.Dayle Dolkens, 9.Casey Dolkens, 11.Morgan Mathison, 12.Tatum Stewart, 13.Rebecca Greiner, 22.Britt Wilkinson, 23.Ruby Harris, 25.Kyra Livermore, 88.Jordan Bliss (gk)
Tassie Tigers Women’s team: 1.Sarah McCambridge (c), 3.Lucy Millington, 4.Maddison Brooks, 5.Taylor Brooks, 7.Jade Smith, 11.Isabelle Sharman, 12.Louise Maddock, 13.Phillida Bridley, 15.Lucy Cooper, 17.Kathryn Lane, 20.Beth Dobbie, 21.Lauren Canning, 25.Evelyn Dalton (gk), 28.Pipi Martos, 29.Belen D’Esposito
Match Details – Men’s Match
Brisbane Blaze 5 (Boyde 35’/35’, Randle 43’, Anderson 58’/58’)
Tassie Tigers 0
Friday 27 October 2023
Queensland State Hockey Centre
Brisbane Blaze Men’s team: 2.Shane Kenny, 3.Corey Weyer, 5.Lucas Brown, 7.Liam Hart, 9.Jacob Anderson, 10.Cale Cramer, 11.Michael Francis, 12.Jake Whetton (c), 13.David Hubbard, 16.Tim Howard, 17.Scott Boyde, 19.Luke Randle, 21.Max Harding, 23.Daniel Beale, 32.Mitchell Nicholson (gk)
Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 3.Alex Shaw, 4.Hayden Beltz (c), 5.Ewan Vickery, 6.Josh Brooks, 7.Josh Mardell, 8.Joseph Murphy, 9.Jeremy Edwards, 12.Sam McCulloch, 14.Jack Welch, 19.Tim Deavin, 20.Ehren Hazell, 23.Henry Chambers (gk), 27.Gobindraj Gill, 30.Alistair White, 32.Jeremy Hayward