Australia: Hockeyroos go through series undefeated after final stalemate

The Hockeyroos and India have played out a 1-1 draw in the final match of the 3-test series in Adelaide, the hosts lifting the trophy courtesy of winning the opening two encounters.

Tasmanian 18-year-old Maddison Brooks continued her breakthrough year with the opening goal in 25th minute before it was cancelled out by India’s Deep Grace Ekka in the 42nd minute.

Having wrapped up the series less than 24 hours earlier, the Hockeyroos entered the match looking to complete a clean sweep.

The first quarter was an arm wrestle as both sides manufactured some half chances, the Hockeyroos’ best opening of the first quarter coming from a rehearsed penalty corner routine that India were alert to.

The deadlock was broken when the lively Abby Wilson worked her way into the circle before sending across a pinpoint ball to an unmarked Brooks at the far post and she produced a clinical finish.

India won a penalty corner with two minutes to go in the first half and Gurjit fired her drag flick towards goal but Hockeyroos goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram reacted well to save smartly.

Hannah Cullum-Sanders then almost stung India with a swift counterattack just before half time but she could not finish the move.

The Hockeyroos were holding onto their advantage until Ekka converted from a penalty corner with a fierce low shot that the Australian defensive brigade could not keep out.

Some last gasp Hockeyroos defending prevented India from taking the lead in the final seconds of the third quarter as the game sat delicately poised.

Aisling Utri sent a shot narrowly wide early in the last quarter before Greta Hayes produced some great skill in close to open up the attacking area of the pitch for Wilson but her ensuing cross into the circle was blocked.

Despite both teams’ best intent, they would be forced top settle for a draw in a series that uncovered and revealed the depth of talent in Australian women’s hockey at the elite level.

Ten of the players who represented the Hockeyroos in the series will stay on and be part of an Australia A team that will take on India in two matches on Thursday and Saturday.

“Our aim was to build throughout the series and learning the way of play,” said Jane Claxton post match.

“We had a lot of new girls coming in and it was the first time we had played together as a team, so it was good to build across the three matches.

“There is still a lot to work on and the girls staying on for the Australia A matches will be able to build on that further.”

“What this series has shown is that we have backups in every position and players who can all play attacking style of hockey, so it’s going to be a really exciting next couple of years for the Hockeyroos.”

Match Details
Hockeyroos 1
(Brooks 25’)
India 1 (Ekka 42’)
@ MATE Stadium, Adelaide

Hockeyroos: 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 12.Greta Hayes, 13.Hattie Shand, 16.Courtney Schonell, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 22.Tatum Stewart, 28.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 33.Alice Arnott, 35.Maddison Brooks, 37.Morgan Gallagher, 40.Pippa Morgan, 42.Maddison Smith, 44.Abby Wilson, 46.Olivia Downes, 49.Alana Kavanagh, 51.Aisling Utri
Unused substitute: 41.Zoe Newman (gk)

Team line-ups

Australia A v India Series
MATE Stadium, Adelaide
Match 1 – Thursday 25 May 2023 (6.30pm local, 7.00pm AEST)
Match 2 – Saturday 27 May 2023 (6.30pm local, 7.00pm AEST)
Ticketing details: Entry is FREE but patrons must register for the matches. Register now
Broadcast: Livestreamed on LIVEHockey

Australia Hockey

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