Match two of the Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman series ended in defeat for the Vantage Black Sticks Women as they went down 2-1 in a hotly fought contest in Auckland.
The Australians looked the better of the two teams in the first half earning a goal off a rebound from a well saved penalty corner in the first quarter. Debutante goalkeeper Kirsty Nation did well to stop the first shot at goal but was unable to get in front of the ball when the Hockeyroos captain, Brooke Peris, managed to poke it in off the rebound.
A nasty hand injury to Australian star Rosie Malone late in the second half seemed to sap the energy out of the Hockeyroos. The Black Sticks capitalised coming out of the break putting pressure on the Australian defence which resulted in a world-class goal from young striker Olivia Shannon, midway through the third quarter, to double her tally for the series.
While the Kiwis had plenty of momentum going forward they were unable to make the Australians pay in the circle. With only three minutes remaining in the match the visitors took possession of the ball deep in their own half to start a counter-attack which ended up with Peris thumping in her second of the match for the late lead.
The Hockeyroos consolidated in defence keeping the home side at bay for the remaining minutes of the game to take the victory. The Vantage Black Sticks will look to level the four match Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman series on Saturday afternoon at 3.30pm. The match will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 3.