Clean sweep for Thundersticks in Hockey One season opener


A new Day has dawned for the Perth Thundersticks as recruit James Day dominated against his former team to kick off season 2023 with a 4-1 win.

Day, who ran out for the first time donning Thundersticks colours since moving from the Canberra Chill, put on a penalty corner masterclass during their round one clash at Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

While the opening term resembled more of a fight for territory between both sides, it wasn’t until the 14th minute that the Thundersticks had an opportunity to score via a penalty corner, successfully converted by Day to take a 1-0 lead ay quarter time.

It did not take long for the Thundersticks to further establish their lead, with Tom Wickham converting from a penalty corner to open his account for the 2023 season.

Although Ben Staines would break through for a field goal to get the Chill on the board in the 19th minute, goalkeeper Ben Rennie put his body on the line with an impressive save to prevent the scores being tied up.

A second penalty corner conversion from Day ensured the Thundersticks held momentum, going into the main break 3-1.

As the Canberra Chill attempted to mount the pressure, Day continued to do what he does best, making a hat-trick off a third successful penalty corner.

While the Chill had several chances to try and respond, the Thundersticks defence held strong as the home side led 4-1 at the final change.

Canberra Chill showed signs of desperation during the early stages of the final term as they looked to salvage their efforts.

However, opportunities to score from two successive penalty corners left the Chill wondering what could have been.

As the clock ticked down, the Thundersticks held strong to come away with the 4-1 victory, with commanding performances by Day, Rennie and Wickham.

Following the match, Day said while it was a strange feeling going up against his old team, once the nerves were settled it was smooth sailing.

“I was happy just to score one, but the big result is the team getting the win so that’s the most important thing,” he said.

“It was a good contest, really high standard and very physical.

“I think the heat got the best of us near the end, it was probably one of the hottest games I’ve played in.

“I think we’re going to go a long way in this tournament if we play a fast, high pressing game.”


Match Details

Perth Thundersticks 4 (Day 14’, 30’, 33’; Wickham 17’)

Canberra Chill 1 (Staines 19’)

Perth Thundersticks team: 1. Matt Bird, 2. Will Battistessa, 3. Tim Geers, 4. Jake Harvie, 5. Tom Wickham, 9. James Day, 11. Tom Harvie, 13. Brayden King, 14. Matt Willis, 15. Liam Flynn, 17. Aran Zalewski, 18. Ben Rennie, 23. Cambell Geddes, 25. Trent Mitton, 26. James Collins.

Canberra Chill team: 2. Ben Staines, 4. James Torras, 6. Connor Tuddenham, 8. Sean Baker, 9. Jamie Hawke, 10. Owen Chivers, 11. Garry Backhus, 12. Jake Staines, 15. Hayden Dillon, 17. Aiden Dooley, 22. Jay Macdonald, 24. Davis Atkins, 26. James Jewel, 32. Brendan Hill, 33. Rupinder Pal Singh.



The Perth Thundersticks’ young guns have shined under the 2023 JDH Hockey One spotlight, producing a brilliant start to their campaign with a 4-1 win over Canberra Chill.

Amid fierce defence and relentless attacking, the Thundersticks made their presence known at Perth Hockey Stadium on Saturday with their highest-scoring performance ever.

While neither side let up the pressure during the opening term, the Thundersticks kicked into high gear with a strong individual effort by Neasa Flynn getting them on the board.

Flynn ducked and weaved through traffic to score an impressive field goal within the first minute of the second quarter, quickly followed by a successful conversion.

Just two minutes later, debutant Bellé Ramshaw opened her Hockey One account with a successful penalty corner conversion to put the Thundersticks up 3-0.

While the Chill amped up the defensive pressure in a bid to respond, the Thundersticks held on to lead 3-0 at half time.

The contest reached a further stalemate during the third term as both teams employed strong defence and rapid-fire passing to fight for territory.

It wasn’t until the late stages of the term that the Chill would get themselves on the board, with a penalty corner via Roisin Upton.

However, the Thundersticks continued to hold the advantage 3-1 at the final change.

Looking to seal the win and help produce a clean sweep to open the season, the Thundersticks did not take long to extend their lead even further with Georgina Dowd breaking through for a goal.

However, strong pressure from Rene Hunter saw Dowd’s opportunity to produce a conversion.

While the Chill continued to put up a fight during the late stages of the final term, the Thundersticks held strong to claim their biggest win yet.

Following the match, Flynn said ït was exciting to open the 2023 season with a win after a long year of preparation, surprising herself by getting on the scoreboard.

“It’s a bit surreal since I’m not usually a goal shooter,” she said.

“It was a pretty hard contest against the Chill – I think the added heat made it a pretty tough contest.

“[The Chill] are strong competition but it feels good to secure the win.”


Match Details

Perth Thundersticks 4 (Neasa Flynn 16’, 16’; Bellé Ramshaw 18’, Georgina Dowd 47’)

Canberra Chill 1 (Roisin Upton 43’)

Perth Thundersticks team: 1. Pippa Morgan, 3. Neasa Flynn, 6. Sarah Byrnes, 8. Georgia Wilson, 9. Shanea Tonkin, 10. Jesse Reid, 11. Rachel Frusher, 12. Liné Malan, 13. Lexie Pickering, 14. Elizabeth Duguid, 15. Bellé Ramshaw, 17. Annie Gibbs, 18. Renee Rockcliff, 19. Georgina Dowd, 22. Anna Roberts.

Canberra Chill team: 1. Mikayla Evans, 2. Katie Mullan, 5. Claudia Johnston, 6. Roisin Upton, 7. Naomi Evans, 8. Sarah Hawkshaw, 9. Samantha Economos, 11. Tamsin Bunt, 13. Edwina Bone, 16. Georgie Smithers, 17. Kaitlin Cotter, 21. Mikaela Patterson, 23. Kalindi Commerford, 25. Lauren Yee, 32. Rene Hunter.