Kiwi women lose
Australia survived a nerve racking sudden death penalty shoot out to win the Oceania Cup hockey tournament in Stratford this afternoon.
The scores were locked at 2-all at fulltime and 3-all after the first round of shoot outs before Sam Charlton failed to convert the Black Sticks' seventh attempt after captain Kayla Sharland had kept her side in it, converting her second shot.
It was a fitting finale, with little separating the two sides throughout the match.
New Zealand were guilty of wasting a host of clear chances in the first half as the sides went to the break locked at 1-1.
Striker Sophie Cocks replied to Australia's opening goal midway through the half but the Black Sticks should have gone into the break at least two or three goals to the good.
Too often they lacked composure in front of goal, while Patrea Webster hit the top of the goal after she had created some space down the flank.
Australia started the match stronger and went in front when Jordyn Holzberger tapped in from near the line after the Black Sticks defence was caught out in just the sixth minute.
Although Australia looked good at times on the counter attack, they did not create half as much as the Black Sticks who wasted two early penalty corners.
The second half was evenly balanced, as both sides created more chances the more the time went on.
Sharland looked to have given her side a winning advantage when she scored from a penalty corner in the 55th minute.
The Black Sticks defence switched off with eight minutes left in regulation time to concede a goal to Australia captain Madonna Blyth.
- © Fairfax NZ News