Canberra turn on the Chill to douse Adelaide Fire

Maximum points over the Adelaide Fire at the National Hockey Centre tonight continues the Canberra Chill Women’s and Men’s teams’ march towards a spot in the Finals Main Event in Bendigo.

The results (1-0 in the Women’s match and 5-0 in the Men’s) put both Chill teams well in the mix of finals action with two rounds to play. For Adelaide Fire, it was a fourth straight defeat for the Men’s team, while a third loss for the Women’s team sees them lose further ground on the top four.

Women’s Match

The Canberra Chill have earned a hard fought 1-0 win against us plucky Adelaide Fire side to move back level with HC Melbourne on top of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League Women’s table.

A third quarter goal from Laura Reid was the difference between the two sides in a highly entertaining contest that saw both teams throw caution to the wind without reward.

The Adelaide Fire sorely missed Hockeyroos star Jane Claxton and despite eye-catching displays from Gabi Nance and Carly Hoffmann, they struggled to get on top in an enthralling midfield battle.

Riding a wave of momentum and utilising the catch cry “all the way baby!”, the Chill look to have built a strong foundation for a title tilt in the coming weeks.

Player of the Match Reid produced a near faultless performance for the Chill, being fed by dominant games from ex-Hockeyroos Kalindi Commerford and Mikaela Paterson.

“At this portion of the season these kinds of wins are critical, so this sets us up really nicely now for a home run in Bendigo. So I’m really proud of the girls,” Reid said post-match.

The energetic forward was delighted to break her season scoring duck and revealed her heavily strapped left leg was largely precautionary.

“Finally got that monkey off my back. I had a couple of doughnuts in the opening couple of rounds so as a striker it feels good to get your role done.”

“Plenty of goal scoring opportunities tonight for only one outcome, so definitely something we can look forward to heading into the future rounds.”

“The pins aren’t what they used to be. They’re held together by duct tape but it’s probably the best the knee has felt for a few months so pretty happy with how it’s tracking,” Reid joked.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Chill as Adelaide Fire drew a massive stretch save from Chill goalkeeper Rene Hunter in the opening stages, before the Fire saw off back-to-back penalty corners from the hosts, with Kelsey Bing coming up trumps.

18 year old Lauren Yee backed up her noteworthy debut for Canberra with a stern test of Bing from a tomahawk opportunity late in the first quarter.

Adelaide went inches from opening the scoring when Nance crashed a reverse stick pass across the face of goal to just evade desperate teammate Miki Spano.

Reid would fire a warning shot before half-time, before returning shortly after to break the deadlock with a deflection at the far post.

The creator was Paterson, whose aggressive jinking run broke open the organised Fire backline and Reid needed no further invitation to knock home the pass across the face of goal.

A second goal failed to materialise from Reid’s conversion opportunity as she chopped the reverse stick shot well over the bar.

The game became a real end-to-end arm wrestle thereafter, with the best chance coming from Naomi Evans’ deflection that crashed off the upright.

It mattered little as the Canberra Chill banked five important points to continue their momentum toward the semi-finals in Bendigo.

The Fire will seek to rebound against the ladder leading HC Melbourne from 6:30pm next Thursday night, while Canberra will host the Perth Thundersticks on Saturday afternoon from 3:30pm local time.

Match Details
Canberra Chill 1 (Reid 34’)
Adelaide Fire 0
Thursday 27 October 2022
National Hockey Centre, ACT
Umpires: Emily Carroll & Kristy Robertson

Canberra Chill Women’s team: 1.Mikayla Evans, 4.Madison Doar, 6.Katie Doar, 7.Naomi Evans (c), 8.Laura Reid, 11.Sophie Gaughan, 14.Emily Robson, 16.Shihori Oikawa, 18.Olivia Martin, 21.Mikaela Patterson, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 24.Sarah White, 25.Lauren Yee, 28.Catriona Bailey-Price, 32.Rene Hunter (gk)

Adelaide Fire Women’s team: 1.Linzi Appleyard, 4.Chloe Carter, 5.Kelsey Bing (gk), 8.Holly Evans-Gill, 10.Carly Hoffmann, 11.Lucy Sharman, 13.Sarah Harrison (c), 16.Jet Mallinson, 17.Siennah Cowles, 18.Erin Cameron, 19.Gabi Nance, 20.Hattie Shand, 21.Miki Spano, 23.Izzy Gill, 30.Julia King


Men’s Match

A four-goal display from Kookaburras aspirant Ben Staines has helped the Canberra Chill earn a comprehensive 5-0 victory at home against the Adelaide Fire.

The win saw the Chill entrench themselves inside the top four, moving six points clear of the Tassie Tigers and places them firmly in the box seat to earn a plane ticket to the Main Event in Bendigo on 19/20 November.

But the talking point post-match was the form of Staines, who moved level with HC Melbourne’s Nathan Ephraums as the Sultana Bran Hockey One League leading goal scorer with six goals.

Staines was a destroyer, scoring a field goal, a conversion, a penalty corner and a penalty stroke in a truly complete individual performance.

The 25-year-old was delighted with the team’s performance in front of a passionate home crowd and believes that despite being short of Kookaburras stars, the Chill are full of leaders.

“It was a bit of fun out there tonight. I think we all played really well, and I suppose it was about me being in the right place at the right time for most of them,” a humble Staines said post-match.

“I think we’ve got an excellent leadership group with Ben Craig and Daysie (James Day), Andrew Charter and Dosser (Hayden Dillon). It’s just a young and vibrant group.”

“We love being around each other and just spending minutes with each other is good.”

The Chill will next face two opponents currently sitting above them in the table in the Perth Thundersticks and NSW Pride, but Staines believes the message will be quite simple heading in.

“We’ve just got to be clinical with what we do, boss the game and really take what we’ve got to the game and play like we do.”

The match itself was another positive showing of the Chill’s counter-attacking strengths, as they won the penalty corner count 9-5.

It took two massive set piece saves from Adelaide Fire skipper Glyn Tamlin and goalie Christian Starkie to twice deny Chill star James Day in an electric opening term.

But the home crowd didn’t have to wait long for an opener, with Sean Baker’s incisive aerial to Jake Staines sending his brother Ben in on goal to score in the 20th minute, which the latter duly converted into the top left corner.

A killer blow was then struck to the Fire as Day slammed home his fourth goal of the season seconds before half-time to make it 3-0.

It was party time in the nation’s capital when a behind-the-back move from Day assisted Staines’ third goal, before he returned to add another from the penalty spot after 45 minutes after Connor Tuddenham was fouled.

The silky skills of Tuddenham were a handful for the Fire throughout, but Starkie was able to deflect his shot onto the woodwork to limit the damage.

A gutsy Fire continued to offer an attacking threat, well led by Alastair Oliver, but a serious of mishaps from set pieces ultimately thwarted their attempts to deny Kookaburras keeper Andrew Charter a clean sheet.

While the Chill prepare for a massive home contest against Perth next Saturday afternoon, the Fire will go searching for their first Hockey One League win when they play host to fellow winless side HC Melbourne on Thursday night from 6:00pm local time.

Match Details
Canberra Chill 5 (B.Staines 20’/20’/40’/45’, Day 30’)
Adelaide Fire 0
Thursday 27 October 2022
National Hockey Centre, ACT
Umpires: Stirling Sharpe & Jim Unkles

Canberra Chill Men’s team: 2.Ben Staines, 4.James Day, 6.Connor Tuddenham, 7.Ben Craig (c), 8.Sean Baker, 9.Jamie Hawke, 10.Owen Chivers, 11.Garry Backhus, 12.Jake Staines, 15.Hayden Dillon, 16.Oscar Smart, 17.Aidan Dooley, 19.Jeremy Hopkins, 24.Davis Atkin, 30.Andrew Charter (gk)

Adelaide Fire Men’s team: 1.Tom Cleghorn, 2.Connor Richmond-Spouse, 3.Isaac Whittaker, 6.Angus Fry, 7.Geoff Abbott, 8.Brodie Gleeson, 9.Fred Gray, 12.Mitchell Dell, 14.Nathan Hochman, 15.William Abbott, 18.Alastair Oliver, 19.Glyn Tamlin (c), 20.Matthew Magann, 22.Christian Starkie (gk), 23.Cameron White