By Kate Allman
Canberra Chill will fly to the Tassie Tigers den this Thursday night in a tense wrestle for ladder position in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League.
The fourth round of the seven-week season represents the halfway point of the Hockey One League and picking a winner from the first double header is harder than splitting hairs.
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The men’s teams play first and are precisely equal on points and goal difference in the middle of the table.
Tassie Tigers come off a rejuvenating bye week, which bodes well for scoring weapons Kieron Arthur and Kookaburras veteran Eddie Ockenden, as well as ball-winning wizard Jeremy Edwards.
However, they will be missing Under 21s Burras representative Josh Brooks – who scored twice in his last match – while he’s away representing Australia in Malaysia at six-nations tournament the Sultan of Johor Cup.
The Chill men also head into Round 4 with confidence after coolly knocking off HC Melbourne Men last week.
Aiden “Hooley” Dooley burst onto the Chill’s highlights reel, picking the pockets of defenders and launching his submission for goal of the year, then converting it. If the Tigers give him an inch this week he’s liable to take a mile.
Defensive wall Gary Backhus comes back into the Chill team after a week off.
The Tigers, who have not conceded a goal in six consecutive quarters (that is, since halftime of the opening round against Brisbane Blaze), have their work cut out to freeze out Chill’s destructive sibling-duo Jake and Ben Staines.
In the women’s match, last (Tassie) plays fifth (Chill) and the odds are just as tight.
The Tigers women have one shootout win and one loss but showed determination in their Round 1 defeat of the defending premiers Brisbane Blaze.
This is the first time Tassie have played at home since that memorable performance, during which captain Maddy Murphy and US imports Cassie Sumfest and Jillian Wolgemuth outshone the rest of the pitch.
Goalkeeper Evie Dalton has also impressed in goals for Tassie but will rotate out for debutant Camilla Vaughan of the Australian Under 21 Jillaroos squad.
At the other end of the pitch, Tassie strikers will need to get around Japanese international defender Shihori Oikawa plus vocal Canberra keeper Rene Hunter, who has built an intimidating presence in the D against other teams.
Canberra will field two Hockey One debutants in Stephanie Kindon and Lauren Yee. Yee is just 18 but one to watch in the Chill’s midfield and forward line, a speedy striker who has trained well and earned her first crack wearing the blue and yellow this season.
Former Hockeyroo Naomi Evans, captain for the Chill, has a solid track record against the Tigers. Adam Clifford in the Hockey One Shootout notes she has scored in every match during their last three meetings, and scored and converted the Chill’s 2-1 win over the Tigers in Season One.
Last time these teams met, the Tassie Tigers men won 6-2 and the Chill women 2-1.
Tassie Tigers v Canberra Chill
Thursday 20 October 2022
Tasmanian Hockey Centre
Match Start: Men’s 6:30pm local (6:30pm AEDT), Women’s 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo and FOX Sports #TIGvCCH #HockeyOne
Umpires: Tim Sheahan & Aaron Gotting (Men’s), Nicola Brown & Rhiannon Murrie (Women’s)
Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 4.Hayden Beltz, 5.Benjamin Austin, 7.Josh Mardell, 8.Joseph Murphy, 9.Jeremy Edwards, 11.Eddie Ockenden, 13.Joshua Beltz (c), 14.Jack Welch, 15.Kieron Arthur, 19.Tim Deavin, 20.James Bourke, 22.Oliver Pritchard, 23.Henry Chambers (gk), 26.Oliver Smith, 27.Gobindraj Gill
In: 14.Jack Welch, 22.Oliver Pritchard
Out: 6.Josh Brooks, 12.Sam McCulloch
Canberra Chill Men’s team: 2.Ben Staines, 3.Anand Gupte, 4.James Day, 6.Connor Tuddenham, 7.Ben Craig (c), 8.Sean Baker, 9.Jamie Hawke, 10.Owen Chivers, 11.Gary Backhus, 12.Jake Staines, 14.Glenn Turner, 15.Hayden Dillon, 17.Aidan Dooley, 24.Davis Atkin, 30.Andrew Charter (gk)
In: 11.Gary Backhus
Out: 22.Jay Macdonald
Tassie Tigers Women’s team: 1.Sarah McCambridge, 2.Jillian Wolgemuth, 4.Maddi Brooks, 5.Taylor Brooks, 6.Raeleigh Phillips, 7.Maddy Murphy (c), 8.Cassie Sumfest, 9.Emily Donovan, 11.Eliza Westland, 12.Lou Maddock, 14.Brooke DeBerdine, 15.Lucy Cooper, 20.Beth Dobbie, 21.Lauren Canning, 23.Camilla Vaughan (gk)
In: 15.Lucy Cooper, 23.Camilla Vaughan (gk)
Out: 17.Grace Calvert, 25.Evie Dalton (gk)
Canberra Chill Women’s team: 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, 20.Stephanie Kindon, 21.Mikaela Patterson, 23.Kalindi Commerford, 24.Sarah White, 25.Lauren Yee, 28.Catriona Bailey-Price, 32.Rene Hunter (gk)
In: 20.Stephanie Kindon, 25.Lauren Yee
Out: 1.Mikayla Evans, 19.Riley Smith