Matching results sees Thundersticks scorch the Chill

A pair of convincing 4-1 victories has seen the Perth Thundersticks stake their JDH Hockey One League title claims on home soil in a perfect opening round double-header against gallant Canberra Chill sides.

The Thundersticks star men’s recruit James Day scored a hat-trick in a best afield display to crush the hopes of his former side as they made a statement under new coach Craig Wilson.

The former Kookaburras Innovation coach had his penalty corner battery humming with all four goals coming from just seven attempts from the top of the circle.

Whilst Day was prominent in bringing the ball forward from deep defence, he admitted post-match that it was a weird feeling coming up against his old side and former teammates.

“It was a bit strange to be honest. I grew up in Canberra, so it was very odd playing against them and it’s a new challenge, which I’m looking forward to,” said Day.

“I couldn’t ask for a better start (to his time in Thundersticks colours) and hopefully I can continue that form through for the rest of the season.”

In warm conditions the match began at a break-neck speed with Perth brothers Jake and Tom Harvie prolific in the early exchanges.

The latter earned the home side’s first set piece opportunity which Day duly flicked home high into the net on 14 minutes.

Harvie combined with another Tom, returning Kookaburras forward Wickham, for double their advantage in the 18th minute from a set piece routine to the right post.

Despite the setback, Canberra continued to threaten on their forays forward, with the likes of Ben and Jack Staines and Jay McDonald impressive.

The gutsy visitors found a way back into the contest when Connor Tuddenham combined with Ben Staines to crash home, but Perth keeper Ben Rennie shut down the conversion opportunity with aplomb.

The Chill continued to threaten with Jake Staines earning star recruit Rupinder Pal Singh back-to-back set piece chances, but Tom Harvie brilliantly ran down the second effort.

But it would be James’ day, as the biggest off-season recruit slammed home two more penalty corners within three minutes either side of half-time to establish an unassailable advantage.

In the women’s match, three goals in as many minutes to open the second quarter was the difference in a hotly contested encounter, with the home side reduced to nine players in the final term.

The Thundersticks showed no signs of missing Hockeyroos trio Penny Squibb, Karri Sommerville and Aleisha Power as their customary miserly defence once again provided the foundation for victory.

After a scoreless opening term, the home crowd were brought to their feet as Neasa Flynn scored an early contender for goal of the season, skipping beyond three Chill defenders before slamming home the opener.

Flynn also displayed a calm head to take the honour of being the first player to convert their field goal attempt in this season’s JDH Hockey One League, riding a strong tackle from Chill keeper Rene Hunter to double their advantage.

Perth quickly rammed home their advantage to make it 3-0 with Belle Ramshaw benefiting from a fortuitous deflection to score from a penalty corner in the 18th minute.

After having their preparation disrupted by long flight delays, Canberra continued to carve out chances with youngster Lauren Yee and New Zealand international Kaitlin Cotter showing great signs.

Their collective efforts were rewarded when Irish recruit Roisin Upton demonstrated the ‘luck of the Irish’ to peg a goal back, courtesy of a sharp deflection from a Perth foot after 43 minutes.

A brilliant driving run capped a dominant individual performance from Jesse Reid and the Player of the Match fed teammate Georgina Dowd for a simple finish to made it 4-1, before Hunter snuffed out the conversion opportunity to keep her side within touching distance.

But the Thundersticks, led by Rachel Frusher and Reid, were able to survive two players being sinbinned and a frantic final eight minutes to bank their first points.

“The message internally has been really consistent and simple. We need to shift the ball early and when we do that, we looked good,” Perth captain Elizabeth Duguid said post-match.

“It was maybe just a bit of tired legs and ill-discipline there at the end which we’ll learn from.”

Every match of the JDH Hockey One League 2023 Season is LIVE and free on 7plus.

Match report courtesy of Adam Clifford

Match Details – Men’s Match
Perth Thundersticks 4 (Day 14’/30’/33’, Wickham 17’)
Canberra Chill 1 (Staines 19’)
Saturday 7 October 2023
Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University

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

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


Match Details – Women’s Match
Perth Thundersticks 4 (Flynn 16’/16’, Ramshaw 18’, Dowd 47’)
Canberra Chill 1 (Upton 43’)
Saturday 7 October 2023
Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University

Perth Thundersticks Women’s 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 (gk) (c), 15.Belle Ramshaw, 17.Annie Gibbs, 18.Renee Rockliff, 19.Georgina Dowd, 22.Anna Roberts

Canberra Chill Women’s Team: 1.Mikayla Evans, 2.Katie Mullan, 5.Claudia Johnston, 6.Roisin Upton, 7.Naomi Evans (c), 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 (gk)