The Hockeyroos withstood a late fightback from hosts
Great Britain to complete a 4-2 Pro League victory on opposition soil as they keep
alive their finals hopes in this year’s competition.
Australia jumped out to a four goal advantage but were
dented by two-quick counters late on, before a combination of goalkeeper Rachel
Lynch and elapsed time secured victory for the tourists.
The win sees them maintain third place on the FIH
rankings, with their next match up against fourth-placed Germany this weekend in Krefeld.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hockeyroos came to
life in the second, converting three goals, with another added shortly after
half time to put themselves in the ascendency.
With the late surge from GB proving in vain, the
Hockeyroos side – complete with West Australian Penny Squibb in tow – can now
start to dare of a finals berth in the inaugural Pro League competition.
After Germany, the Australians will play Belgium and the
world’s top ranked Netherlands outfit. If they could muster two wins, it should
see them safely through to the semi-finals.
The Hockeyroos’ victory came after the Kookaburras were
thwarted by GB in a penalty shootout after regulation time had closed at 2-2.
WA’s Jake Harvie was on the scoresheet, whilst team co-captain Aran Zalewski slotted a penalty, as the Australians slipped to a 4-3 defeat
after the completed shootout, meaning they take a single point from the clash.
Despite the result, Australia still tops the men’s FIH
standings and head coach Colin Batch deemed that his side would improve upon
this result over the course of their European tour.
"We found it difficult to establish our game in the
first half, while our third quarter was very good. We needed to do more with
the opportunities we created and our momentum really stalled in the last
quarter. There were some great lessons for us to take into our future matches
in Europe," he said.
Tyler Lovell and Trent Mitton were also in action for the
Kookaburras against Great Britain, with the men’s team set to complete their series
with matches against Spain, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.