Aussies defeated by Great Britain in final of Azlan Shah
8 May 2017
HOCKEY: The Kookaburras and Great Britain took part in the final of the Azlan Shah Cup tonight, with Great Britain too good for the defending champions, defeating Australia 4 – 3.
The first goal came to Great Britain in the eighth minute of play during their first circle penetration of the match. Alan Forsyth scored a field goal from the top of the circle following a pass from Jonty Keaney.
Great Britain continued to hold on to control of the game, with a penalty corner goal from David Goodfield in the 11th minute of play, doubling their score to 2 – nil. The Kookaburras forced three penalty corner opportunities in the last minutes of the first quarter, but goalkeeper Harry Gibson managed to foil every set piece attempt.
After two more unsuccessful attempts at penalty corners, it was Eddie Ockenden who finally made a break for the Kookaburras, scoring a field goal and taking the score to AUS 1 – 2 GBR going into half time.
Within four minutes of the second half both Great Britain and Australia had added to their goal tally. First, Great Britain at 33 minutes with a field goal from Ollie Willars, followed closely at 34 minutes by a field goal from Australia’s Josh Pollard.
David Goodfield and Alan Forsyth were back in action with two minutes to go in the third quarter. Forsyth passing to Goodfield inside the Great Britain circle, resulting in a second goal for Goodfield and leaving the Brits with a 2-goal advantage going into the final 15 minutes.
The Kookaburras were the first to score in the final quarter; Dylan Wotherspoon nailing a field goal after a scramble in front of the net leaving the Kookaburras trailing by just one goal.
Both teams had a further penalty corner attempts, but with neither Great Britain or Australia managing to convert the game finished with Great Britain beating the defending champions to take out the 2017 Azlan Shah Cup.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said: “Again we were able to control large parts of the game and generate good opportunity. We scored three goals which is normally enough to win, not tonight however as our defence of the circle needs improving as do our penalty corner attempts.
“Great Britain were very successful from limited opportunity - we have to look at that and prevent it from happening. They were quick to generate counter attacks and also scored very quickly.
“From here we have a break, then we re-group and start our preparation for the World League. We have some players coming back to the squad, and over the next 7 or 8 weeks we will select out World League three team, so we’ll have a nice bit of time to prepare. It’s been a great learning tournament for us here and the learnings will be key to our preparation for World League three.”
Earlier in the evening India defeated New Zealand 4 – 0 to take out third place, while Malaysia were victorious over Japan in taking out fifth place.
Kookaburras squad v Great Britain
Andrew Charter (Canberra, ACT) 128/0
Tom Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 34/14
Matthew Dawson (Killarney Vale, NSW) 72/10
Jeremy Edwards (Hobart, TAS) 18/1
Jeremy Hayward (Darwin, NT) 79/26
Edward Ockenden (Hobart, TAS) 290/67
Andrew Philpott (Melbourne, VIC) 35/1
Joshua Pollard (Melbourne, VIC) 19/1
Matthew Swann (Mackay, QLD) 152/6
Tom Wickham (Morgan, SA) *plays for WA 12/3
Dylan Wotherspoon (Murwillumbah, NSW) *plays for QLD 36/8
Ben Craig (Lane Cove, NSW) 18/2
Aaron Kleinschmidt (Melbourne, VIC) 19/6
Tyler Lovell (Perth, WA) 85/0
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA) 112/49
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD) 124/48
Matthew Willis (Tamworth, NSW) 26/2
Flynn Ogilvie (Wollongong, NSW) 51/13