First game of the year
Tuesday, 28 March 2017 (Darwin, Northern Territory) – Official Hockey Australia match report from the International Hockey Open.
KOOKABURRAS 6 (2)
Trent Mitton 11 (FG)
Jeremy Hayward 14 (PC)
Tom Wickham 44 (FG)
Matt Dawson 48 (FG)
Ben Craig 51, 53 (FG)
PAKISTAN 1 (0)
Abdul Haseem Khan 60 (FG)
The Kookaburras kicked off their first game of the year today with a huge 6 – 1 win against Pakistan at the Marrara Hockey Stadium. Kiran Arunasalam made his debut for the Kookaburras in front of over 600 enthusiastic local school children, including 20 who had travelled from as far as Katherine to attend the game.
The Kookaburras scored the first goal of the match, with Trent Mitton making a play for goal which saw the ball knocked into the net from the right of the circle giving the Australian’s the start they were after.
With only a minute to go in the first term, the Kookaburras were on for the second goal of the game by way of a penalty corner opportunity. The Aussies made a great play, with a strong injection from Tom Craig leading to a powerful flick from Darwin local Jeremy Hayward which defied Pakistan goalkeeper Mazhar Abbas to fly into the net.
The second quarter was tough for the Kookaburras, with the Pakistan defense on high alert, resulting in the score remaining at 2 – nil going into half time. The Kookaburras saw the opportunity in the third quarter, with Tom Wickham fighting back to extend the lead for the Aussies, clocking a field goal from the left of the net.
The final quarter was chock full of action, with Matt Dawson scoring a field goal at minute 48, only to be backed up by a double from new recruit Ben Craig, who scored his two field goals within minutes of one another – the second of which came from a spectacular reverse flick.
Right as the buzzer sounded on the 60th minute of play, Pakistan captain Abdul Haseem Khan scored for his team, with his field goal leaving the final score at Australia 6 – 1 Pakistan.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “The score line was 6 – 1, but I think we have to put that into context. Pakistan made it very difficult for us for a number of quarters, the second was tough and the third we didn’t create too much but we ended up getting the third goal and that opened up the game for us.
“Overall, we were pretty consistent, so I was pleased to see that particularly in these conditions. There’s plenty to work on before tomorrow night; we had a bit of trouble coming out from the Pakistan high press so we have to look at that. We spoke about it in the game and it was better in the second half, but I would like a clearer picture of what we need to do tomorrow.”
The Kookaburras next take on Pakistan tomorrow evening at 7pm ACST at the Marrara Hockey Stadium, with tickets available through www.Ntix.com.au
Kookaburras squad v Pakistan
Kiran Arunasalam (Doncaster East, VIC) 1/0
Josh Beltz (Hobart, TAS) 16/2
Ben Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 9/2
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Valley, NSW) 63/9
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS) 9/1
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 70/25
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC) 10/2
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD) 292/24
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 76/0
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 103/41
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW) 44/12
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 115/48
Matthew Willis (Tamworth, NSW) 17/2
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA) 31/0
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 25/9
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Valley, NSW) 63/8
Casey Hammond (Bundoora, VIC) 9/0
Josh Pollard (Melbourne, VIC) 10/0
Tom Wickham (Adelaide, SA) 3/1