20 Apr 2015

Black Sticks women beaten in final

6:36 am on 20 April 2015

The New Zealand women's hockey team have been unable to repeat the feats of their male counterparts after being beaten 3-2 by Australia in last night's final of the Hawke's Bay Cup.

Black Stick Gemma Flynn in action.

Gemma Flynn brought up New Zealand's first goal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Black Sticks men beat Australia to win the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia a week ago but it wasn't to be for the Black Sticks in Hastings.

The lead swapped constantly and it was only decided in the 60th minute when Australia scored after the Black Sticks defence failed to clear a penalty corner.

The Black Sticks striker Gemma Flynn brought the large crowd to their feet in just the first minute of the match when she slotted home from the field to give the hosts an early 1-nil lead.

The game really came alight in the third quarter when three goals were scored in the space of three minutes.

Emily Smith brought Australia level when she scored from a penalty corner, and shortly after Brooke Peris found herself unmarked in front of goal and made no mistake two metres out to put the visitors in front 2-1.

The Black Sticks mounted a number of promising raids and Olivia Merry brought the match level again 2-all when she smashed the ball home after a goalmouth scramble.

The game was then decided with less than a minute left on the clock when Jodie Kenny scored for Australia from a penalty corner.

The Black Sticks coach Mark Hager was extremely disappointed with the result.

"We got a goal up early and I think we were on top for the majority of the match. We created plenty of scoring opportunities but we must learn to be tougher defensively," he said.

"To let Australia score on the stroke of fulltime is absolutely heartbreaking for the girls. They have worked so hard over the last few weeks and this is not the way we wanted to end the tournament."

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