Black Sticks women draw 2-2 against India

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 20:16 12/12/2012
Stacey Michelsen
Photosport
BIG HIT: Stacey Michelsen throws an overhead during the Fourth women's hockey test between the Black Sticks and India.

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It took four test matches but India were finally rewarded on their New Zealand tour with a 2-all draw with the Black Sticks in the women's international hockey match in Palmerston North tonight.

And had India's finishing been slicker, they might even have snatched a win.

The Kiwis had to rouse themselves from a 2-1 deficit at halftime to secure the draw, the third time they had trailed in the past three tests.

This time it got as far as an equaliser in the 50th minute after a fast break from Charlotte Harrison allowed Sian Fremaux to slot her second goal of the match.

The Kiwis kept turning over the ball while India, with some slick passing, kept the heat on.

An open goal beckoned momentarily for Anupa Barla near the end but the angle was too acute.

New Zealand coach Mark Hager started with a slightly stronger side including Stacey Michelsen and Anita Punt but kept Katie Glynn and Charlotte Harrison in reserve.

For most of the first spell the Black Sticks were in good shape.

It was no surprise when the always lively Punt broke from a long way out and Fremaux was on hand to slot it in for a classy goal.

Early on New Zealand were in better form than in yesterday's test and when Glynn came on, the Black Sticks looked more dangerous in the circle.

India weren't about to capitulate and two goals in five minutes before halftime angered Hager.

The first was from an excellent reverse stick shot from Vandanna Katariya which gave goalie Amelia Gibson no chance and with seconds remaining before halftime, captain Ritu Rani scored from a penalty-corner scramble.

The roadshow travels to Wellington for the final two matches on Friday and Saturday.

Scorers: India 2 (andanna Katariya, Ritu Rani) New Zealand 2 (Sian Fremaux 2) HT 2-1.

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