By Adam Clifford
Women’s Semi Final 1
NSW Pride are through to the Sultana Bran Hockey One League Women’s Grand Final after prevailing 1-0 against a gallant Perth Thundersticks.
In torrential weather conditions, the Pride survived a stern examination in the opening half with Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram making several world class saves to deny the Thundersticks.
A 41st minute field goal from Abby Wilson ultimately decided the cut-throat semi-final after clinically finishing a fantastic attacking run from Pride teammate Grace Stewart.
Perth goalkeeper Aleisha Power was on hand to deny the conversion opportunity and ensure the match went down to the wire.
Pride returnee Courtney Schonell showed glimpses of her potential with an eye catching second half display, while Perth was well served by Georgina Dowd, Candyce Peacock and Line Malan.
NSW Pride 1 (Wilson 41’)
Perth Thundersticks 0
Umpires: Nicola Brown & Tara Leonard
NSW Pride Women’s Team: 1.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 2.Sarah Johnson, 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendalle Tait, 6.Estelle Hughes, 7.Grace Stewart, 8.Alana Kavanagh, 10.Greta Hayes, 19.Morgan Blamey, 20.Maddi Smith, 23.Abigail Wilson (c), 24.Mariah Williams, 29.Courtney Schonell, 30.Makayla Jones, 32.Grace Young
Perth Thundersticks Women’s Team: 1.Kate Denning, 2.Kyra White (c), 3.Candyce Peacock, 5.Georgina Dowd, 7.Penny Squibb, 8.Georgia Wilson, 10.Sarah Byrnes, 11.Rachel Frusher, 12.Line Malan, 13.Neasa Flynn, 16.Karri Somerville, 17.Annie Gibbs, 18.Renee Rockliff, 19.Aleisha Power (gk), 25.Jolie Sertorio
Women’s Semi Final 2
Brisbane Blaze will have the opportunity to defend their Sultana Bran Hockey One League title after withstanding a fast finishing HC Melbourne 1-0 to move through to tomorrow’s Grand Final.
A 28th minute strike from Hockeyroo Rosie Malone proved the difference in a high quality final befitting of the calibre of hockey talent on the pitch.
The Blaze had the better of the early exchanges and threatened to open the scoring.
The momentum then started to sway towards HC Melbourne before Malone struck in the shadows of half time, producing a low tomahawk in a congested circle, the ball cannoning into the backboard.
The Blaze were then forced to absorb a wave of HC Melbourne pressure as the minor premiers had four penalty corners in the third quarter.
Making life more difficult for the Queenslanders was playing minutes of the third quarter with eight players due to two yellow cards and one green card in quick succession.
With time running out, HC Melbourne goalkeeper Rachael Lynch was withdrawn with 3 minutes remaining, however they could not make their out field numerical advantage count as the Blaze held on to set up a grand final date with NSW Pride.
HC Melbourne 0
Brisbane Blaze 1 (Malone 28’)
Umpires: Aleisha Neumann & Kristy Robertson
HC Melbourne Women’s Team: 2.Ash Utri, 3.Nicola Hammond, 4.Amy Lawton, 5.Krissy Bates, 6.Josie Lawton, 8.Hannah Cotter, 9.Carly James, 11.Joanne Peeters, 12.Emily Hamilton-Smith, 13.Megan Alakus, 14.Anna Moore, 15.Olivia Downes, 22.Madi Ratcliffe, 25.Hannah Gravenall (c), 27.Rachael Lynch (gk)
Brisbane Blaze Women’s Team: 1.Savannah Fitzpatrick, 2.Ambrosia Malone, 3.Casey Dolkens, 4.Ashlea Fey, 5.Morgan Gallagher (c), 7.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 12.Tatum Stewart, 13.Rebecca Greiner, 14.Meg Pearce, 19.Morgan Mathison, 22.Britt Wilkinson, 23.Ruby Harris, 24.Claire Colwill, 25.Kyra Livermore, 88.Jordan Bliss (gk)