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Big win for Hockey teams on Day 5

29 July 2014

COMM GAMES HOCKEY: Both of the Australian men and women played preliminary matches on day 5 of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. In an extra confidence boost neither team conceded and goals.

See match reports below from Hockey Australia:

Australia (m) v South Africa

Australian men’s hockey co-coach Paul Gaudoin has challenged his side to improve on their conversion rate despite beating South Africa 6-0 in their second match at the Commonwealth Games, two days after a 7-1 win over Wales.

Doubles from Trent Mitton and Kieran Govers, including the latter’s 50th goal for Australia, and strikes by Chris Ciriello and Simon Orchard took the Aussie men to victory and to the top of Pool A, ahead of India on goal difference with two preliminary matches remaining.

Gaudoin, who is sharing coaching responsibilities with Graham Reid following Ric Charlesworth’s decision to finish up ahead of the Games, said after Australia’s win, “We’re just trying to play good hockey at the moment.It’s always going to be a grind early on in the tournament. We’re doing things we’re trying to do, we’re working on them but we’re not quite there yet.

“Having said that, I think we completely dominated the game today. They had one or two chances at the most and we had umpteen so we’ve got to be better in our attacking third. We’ve got to get some quality in there versus pure quantity. I think that’ll be the focus.”

Western Australian Trent Mitton, whose father and grandfather both played for Australia, opened the scoring in the eighth minute after Kieran Govers and Matt Gohdes had gone close in the early stages. Mitton’s upright reverse stick strike went through a host of bodies to cross the line and quarter of an hour later he made it 2-0. With sublime trickery, the 23 year-old burst into the circle and moved the ball through his legs on the run before firing home to double his and Australia’s tally.

With ten minutes of the half remaining there was a lengthy delay when Chris Ciriello’s penalty corner flick hit South African Tim Drummond on the head on the goal line. Drummond went off although would return for the second period and Ciriello stepped up to slot home the resultant penalty stroke for 3-0.

In similar circumstances Kieran Govers then hit Andrew Cronje in the side of the head from a penalty corner five minutes after half time with the South African leaving the field for treatment before returning later.

In the 42nd minute Australia were reduced to ten men when Mitton was shown a yellow card - the first of his international career - but it didn’t seem to hamper the men in gold who scored twice while he was off the pitch. First, Simon Orchard showed exquisite skill to take down a high ball after good work by Matt Gohdes along the baseline before firing inside the near post and four minutes later Govers netted his 50th goal for Australia, placing a penalty corner low into the bottom right for 5-0.

Soon after, South African Lloyd Norris-Jones rattled Andrew Charter’s crossbar with a ferocious slap shot but the Australian goal remained intact. At the other end, Erasmus Pieterse pulled off a string of saves to deny Kiel Brown and then, in quick succession, Tristan White and Jake Whetton.

With just over five minutes remaining the goalkeeper also got a glove to Kieran Govers’ low shot on the reverse but he couldn’t keep it out as the ball went in off the far post for 6-0.  

Speaking about his 50th goal for Australia, Kieran Govers said, “Unbelievable! It’s always a thing in the back of your mind that you want to reach but I should have had a couple more. I didn’t flick too well today but two goals is still a good achievement in the Commonwealth Games and hopefully I can get some more in the games to come.”

Answering questions about the shot that hit Cronje on the head, he added, “It’s just part of the game. Chris’ one was on the line and mine was missing by about a metre so I was pretty disappointed. Even though it was missing, to hit another player is a bit frustrating and obviously you don’t mean to hurt anyone. But it happens. I spoke to him just then [after the match] and he’s fine so it’s all good.”

Australia’s men face India, the 2010 silver medallists, in their third Pool A clash at 2pm BST (11pm AEST / 9pm AWST) on Tuesday.

AUSTRALIA: 6 (3) - Trent Mitton 8, 24 (FG, FG), Chris Ciriello 27 (PS), Simon Orchard 46 (FG), Kieran Govers 48, 64 (PC. FG)

Match Report Australia (women) v England

Australia’s women’s hockey team is through to the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after dispatching rivals England 3-0 in their final preliminary match. Two more penalty corner goals from Jodie Kenny, the tournament’s top scorer with nine, and a close range rebound from Emily Smith on her 22nd birthday sealed the win over the world number six side.

The result means Australia will finish top of Pool B with four wins from four matches, 25 goals scored and none conceded. Irrespective of the results of the remaining matches they will win the pool with the preliminary phase concluding on Wednesday. Australia will face the yet-to-determined runner-up from the other pool in Friday’s semi-final with South Africa and New Zealand currently leading the way in Pool A.

It was England who enjoyed the brighter start with Australian goalkeeper Rachael Lynch looking smart to get out and block Ellie Watton in the opening ten minutes. But two goals in as many minutes all but settled the contest as first Kenny, then Smith struck to put Australia two goals to the good.

Kenny’s 12th minute flick from Australia’s first penalty corner was as perfect as you might see, nestling high into the top right corner of the net. And just 60 seconds later Australia pounced again as Emily Smith swept in a rebound after Brooke Peris was initially denied by goalkeeper Maddie Hinch. Latching onto the loose ball Smith kept her cool to slot home, marking her birthday with a goal.

At the other end, Jane Claxton was forced into a crucial latch ditch tackle while Madonna Blyth then swept the danger clear as England’s Alex Danson floated in from the right. Kenny might have doubled her tally with an identical corner effort shortly before half time but England defender Laura Unsworth did well to clear the ball from above her head.

26 year-old Queenslander Kenny opted to go low with her next penalty corner 15 minutes into the second half, putting Australia into an unassailable three goal lead. The goal was her ninth in four matches and keeps her at the top of tournament goal scoring charts.

Australia might have had a fourth goal but Kellie White’s effort was overruled on England’s appeal to the video umpire, who correctly adjudged that the back of Georgie Parker’s stick had made contact with the ball in the build-up.

A brace of late penalty corners gave England a glimmer of hope but the Australian defence held firm to see out the preliminary phase of the tournament with four consecutive clean sheets.

Speaking afterwards, Jodie Kenny said, “It was probably not our best game yet; there are a few things we need to tidy up – just ball handling and things like that but at the end of the day if you cannot play your best game and come out with a three-nil win then that’s pretty positive.

Explaining the secret of her penalty corner prowess, she said, “I’ve certainly put a lot of hours’ practice [in]…a lot of years, actually. It’s certainly very specific and takes a while to learn. I’ve got the body for it. I’m quite tall, got long levers so a combination of that and the power. I’m just so happy I can put so many away in one tournament, I’m really stoked.

“Hopefully it’s a threat when I stand up there - they’re a bit worried.”

Australian defender Karri McMahon made her 50th appearance in the green and gold in the match.

The preliminary phase of the tournament concludes on Wednesday.

AUSTRALIA 3 (0) - Jodie Kenny 12, 50 (PC, PC), Emily Smith 13 (FG)

Hockey Australia

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