An early Thundersticks goal rush in the women’s game, followed by a defensive Tassie Tigers men’s masterclass saw results split to open Round 3 of the JDH Hockey One League at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.
The Thundersticks Women made it two wins from two to start their season as they recorded a 4-1 victory, before the Tassie Tigers Men fought off a Thundersticks second half barrage to prevail 2-1.
The women’s match started with a flurry as the Thundersticks went three goals up inside ten minutes.
Britney DeSilva scored her first Hockey One League goal before expertly converting the resultant conversion opportunity, before a firmly hit Georgina Dowd strike from a penalty corner had the visitors flying.
Tassie hit back almost immediately when Lucy Millington converted with a well directed drag flick in the 11th minute in a frenetic opening quarter.
The home side was beginning to arrest the momentum and they earned three penalty corners but were unable to make them count.
With the result far from over despite Perth’s two goal advantage, the visitors ensured all points would be heading west when Liné Malan managed the deftest of touches from a penalty corner in the 53rd minute.
“We started really well which was one of our objectives of the game…to start fast and hard,” said Squibb.
“We then let them get on top but we clawed out way back nicely to get that late goal at the end.”
In the men’s match, two penalty strokes from Kookaburra Jeremy Hayward were enough to see the Tassie Tigers scrape past the Perth Thundersticks and take top spot on the ladder.
The home side’s win was also largely due to the heroics of young Burras goalkeeper Max Larkin, who reeled off a multitude of impressive saves to keep the Thundersticks out.
Larkin was called into action when Liam Flynn whipped a cracking shot goal bound late in the first quarter, the Tassie keeper pulling off a fine save.
The opening goal came in the 12th minute after the Tigers were awarded a penalty stroke for an infringement from a penalty corner. Hayward stepped up to clinically send his stroke past Ben Rennie in the Thundersticks goal.
The lead was doubled in the 25th minute when it was almost a case of déjà vu as the umpire again signalled a penalty stroke after another Tassie penalty corner. Again, Hayward made no mistake converting.
Stung finding themselves two goals down, the Thundersticks reduced the deficit just before half time when Kookaburra Tom Wickham finished with aplomb in a crowded attacking circle, knocking the ball in between his legs with his back to goal.
The Thundersticks peppered away at the Tassie goal in the third quarter with a string of penalty corners, however the home side’s defence refused to buckle.
Larkin was playing like a man possessed as he continued to repel penalty corner after penalty corner, the Thundersticks managing to convert just once from ten set pieces.
The visitors continued to apply the blowtorch but could not find a way through as the Tigers, without experienced duo Eddie Ockenden and Josh Beltz, secured a memorable victory.
“That was an onslaught. They came at us from the first whistle. We played into their hands and kept passing the ball to them, but luckily we had Max, he was fantastic tonight,” said Hayward.
The Tassie Tigers next head north to take on Brisbane Blaze on Friday night, while the Perth Thundersticks are at home to HC Melbourne on Sunday 29 October.
Every match of the JDH Hockey One League 2023 Season is LIVE and free on 7plus.
Match Details – Women’s Match
Tassie Tigers 1 (Millington 11’)
Perth Thundersticks 4 (DeSilva 6’/6’, Dowd 9’, Malan 53’)
Friday 20 October 2023
Tasmanian Hockey Centre
Tassie Tigers Women’s team: 1.Sarah McCambridge (c), 3.Lucy Millington, 4.Maddison Brooks, 5.Taylor Brooks, 7.Jade Smith, 9.Emily Donovan, 12.Louise Maddock, 13.Phillida Bridley, 15.Lucy Cooper, 16.Maddison Clark, 17.Kathryn Lane, 20.Beth Dobbie, 21.Lauren Canning, 25.Evelyn Dalton (gk), 29.Belen D’Esposito
Perth Thundersticks Women’s team: 1.Pippa Morgan, 3.Neasa Flynn, 6.Sarah Byrnes, 7.Penny Squibb, 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 10.Jesse Reid, 11.Rachel Frusher (c), 12.Liné Malan, 14.Elizabeth Duguid (gk), 15.Belle Ramshaw, 17.Annie Gibbs, 18.Renee Rockliff, 19.Georgina Dowd, 24.Britney DeSilva
Match Details – Men’s Match
Tassie Tigers 2 (Hayward 12’/25’)
Perth Thundersticks 1 (Wickham 30’)
Friday 20 October 2023
Tasmanian Hockey Centre
Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 3.Alex Shaw, 4.Hayden Beltz (c), 6.Josh Brooks, 7.Josh Mardell, 8.Joseph Murphy, 9.Jeremy Edwards, 12.Sam McCulloch, 14.Jack Welch, 19.Tim Deavin, 20.Ehren Hazell, 25.Max Larkin (gk), 27.Gobindraj Gill, 28.Lachlan Rogers, 30.Alistair White, 32.Jeremy Hayward
Perth Thundersticks Men’s team: 1.Matthew Bird, 2.Will Battistessa, 3.Tim Geers, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Tom Wickham, 11.Tom Harvie, 12.Alistair Murray, 13.Brayden King, 14.Matthew Willis, 15.Liam Flynn, 16.Brodee Foster, 17.Aran Zalewski (c), 18.Ben Rennie (gk), 23.Cambell Geddes, 26.James Collins
Photo credit: Linda Higginson