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Hockey Mixed day for Great Britain against Australia

by Ben Saunders
at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre

THERE were mixed fortunes for Great Britain’s sides against Australia yesterday with the women losing 4-2 after the men won in a shootout.

Maddy Fitzpatrick, Brooke Peris and Jane Claxton scored in a blistering second quarter for the Australian women — the Hockeyroos — before Mariah Williams made it four midway through the third period.

GB captain Hollie Pearne-Webb and Tess Howard, with her third goal in two games, managed to make the score respectable with second-half goals, but it could have been worse for the home side as goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, in just her second game back after nine months away from the international game, had to make several saves to keep the score down.

Britain’s men claimed a bonus point with a 4-3 shootout win after a 2-2 draw with Australia. 

Daniel Beale sent his shot wide of George Pinner’s goal after Alan Forsyth — with a stroke after a foul by Kookaburra keeper Tyler Lovell — captain Adam Dixon, Phil Roper and David Ames had scored.

However, Danny Kerry’s side let two more leads slip in the wake of losing 4-3 to Germany on Thursday, having been 2-0 and 3-2 ahead. Zach Wallace and Chris Griffiths had given GB the advantage twice, but Jake Harvie and Tim Brand were both allowed to equalise.

Nevertheless, this would have left GB feeling a lot better about themselves against the table-topping Kookaburras, who have only lost once this season.

Britain took the lead seven minutes in when Wallace poked in from close range after Alan Forysth sent the ball goalwards from Brendan Creed’s feed into the shooting circle.

The lead lasted only five minutes though as Trent Mitten attacked the baseline and centred for a diving Harvie to finish.

GB went back in front with just under six minutes remaining in the half after great work down the right set up the first of three successive penalty corners. 

Britain finally took advantage after the third, when Griffiths, who missed Thursday’s defeat by Germany, finished off a slick training ground move that was set up nicely by James Gall.

Again, Britain couldn’t hold on to the lead, Brand making it 2-2 from close range six minutes into the second half.

After a drab, goalless first quarter of the second game, Australia’s women scored two quickfire goals in the space of 28 seconds early in the second period. 

Fitzpatrick flicked home from the first penalty corner for either side before Peris made space inside the circle and lofted the ball over Hinch after GB turned the ball over.

It didn’t take that long before it was three, Claxton’s deflection wrong-footing Hinch to put the Hockeyroos in total command.

Williams then made it 4-0 six minutes into the second half, firing in a reverse-stick effort past an onrushing Hinch.

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