Above The Fold

Australia Win Convincingly Against China in Hockey Test Match

Hockeyroos

The Hockeyroos laid down a 3-1 victory in Perth thanks to White, Barden and Fitzpatrick’s goals. Next Stop Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand.

Strikes from Kellie White, Laura Barden and Savannah Fitzpatrick led an inexperienced Hockeyroos team to a 3-1 win over China in their Test match in Perth on Thursday.

In a side with an average age of just 22, it was one of the Hockeyroos’ more experienced campaigners, Kellie White, still just 24, who opened the scoring with her first goal since returning earlier this year from knee surgery.

Wang Mengyu’s leveller shortly before three-quarter time might have derailed the Australian women but 21 year-old Laura Barden struck early in the fourth period to restore the advantage.

Soon after, Savannah Fitzpatrick, also 21, made sure of the result with her first senior international goal.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said, “It’s really pleasing to get the win, although it wasn’t a particularly polished performance. We scored some good goals from counter attacks but we gave China too many opportunities.

“It was a bit disjointed but that was a symptom of this group not having played together and having a mix of some of our Olympic squad and some younger players for the future. Overall, it’s been really worthwhile. We grew a lot over the practice matches this week into tonight’s Test.”

Commens handed debuts to Queenslander Jacqui Day and New South Wales goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram, while there were also celebrations for West Australian Ashleigh Nelson. The London Olympian and two-time Commonwealth Games winner made her 200th appearance for Australia.

The Hockeyroos leave on Sunday for the Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand, an eight nation invitational event featuring fellow Olympic qualifiers New Zealand, China, Japan, Korea and India, as well as Canada and Ireland. The tournament runs 2-10 April 2016.

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