Australia 4 (3)
Kathryn Slattery 10, 20 (FG) (FG)
Mariah Williams 23 (FG)
Ashleigh Nelson 39 (FG)
Great Britain 3 (2)
Hannah Macleod 11 (FG)
Ellie Watton 19 (PC)
Sophie Bray 40 (FG)
Three goals weren’t enough for Great Britain to secure victory against Australia in an entertaining game which saw seven goals – the first match in a six game series. Strikes from Kathryn Slattery, Mariah Williams and Ashleigh Nelson helped Australia to a 4-3 victory.
Kathryn Slattery got the first goal of the game from Ashleigh Nelson’s pass with a well-executed deflection, but Great Britain responded just a minute later to Australia’s opener with a successful field goal deflection by Hannah Macleod, to make the score 1-1.
It wasn’t long before they added another – on the 19-minute mark, Great Britain’s Ellie Watton was on-target, sending the ball to the bottom corner of the goal and pushing the visitors in front 2-1.
The goals kept on coming thick and fast with Australian forward Kathryn Slattery adding to her night’s tally with a second strike on the 20 minute mark, and seven minutes before half time Mariah Williams’ impressive back-stick handed Australia a 3-2 lead with 30 minutes to play.
Nelson then turned goalscorer to extend Australia’s lead, and with 20 minutes remaining on the clock, Great Britain came back firing. Sophie Bray managed to stretch and making contact with the ball to slip it past Rachael Lynch to pull the visitors back to within a goal, and while opportunities came and went for both teams in the final 15 minutes Great Britain couldn’t convert their chances, leaving Australia with the win.
The second match of the series will be played on Sunday at Bunbury Districts Hockey Stadium.
The matches with Australia are a pre-cursor to the Women’s Champions Trophy London 2016 where both teams will face each other shortly before the Olympics, while in Rio Australia and Great Britain are in the same pool.
photos Janos Schmidt