The Hockeyroos have ended their Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign with a silver medal after a 2-1 loss to England in the gold medal match.
A four minute burst in the second quarter that saw the hosts score twice did the damage. Rosie Malone scored a consolation goal in the last 30 seconds but it was not to be as England won their first Commonwealth Games gold medal in women’s hockey.
Despite missing the top of the podium, Hockeyroos Head Coach Katrina Powell was proud of how far her team has come as they end a two month tour with a bronze medal at the World Cup and a Commonwealth Games silver medal.
“The game didn’t go the way we wanted but the campaign and all that we have been through in this last seven and a half weeks on the road has been phenomenal,” said Powell.
“I am so proud of the players and how far we have progressed while we have been away.
“Hockey players are not used to being away for this long so there is a lot that goes into making sure you are still up for a game like this after almost two months.”
“It’s important to also acknowledge that you win a silver medal. Competitions are really interesting in that you lose gold.
“We just won a bronze at the World Cup so we saw how much happier we were than the silver medallists…and I think you miss out on that fun, excitement, experience if you are not happy with winning silver.”
“We have a lot of work to do…and some of that is being able to play under the pressure of taking on a team who is playing at their home Commonwealth Games and were really up for the fight.”
“We have a really good base to go on from. I can see where we need to make improvements. We have learnt and progressed and one of the things we have learnt is that we are not quite there yet. That’s a powerful thing to know, that you are ok with where you are at but certainly not satisfied.”
In an evenly matched first quarter that saw five circle penetrations to four, the Hockeyroos survived three England penalty corners, goalkeeper Aleisha Power coming to the fore.
England started to enjoy some possession in the Hockeyroos half and in the 22nd minute a speculative ball into the circle came to Holly Hunt who controlled it first time before whacking her shot past Power.
Riding the wave of home support, England then struck again in the 26th minute. A shot came in from just inside the circle and the ball deflected off Tess Howard’s outstretched stick and flashed into the back of the net.
The Hockeyroos eventually won their first penalty corner two minutes before half time but England’s defence held firm.
Needing to force the issue, the Hockeyroos came out with greater urgency and intent as the attacking brigade tried to stamp their influence on the game.
However it was England that came closest to adding a third in the 40th minute when Anna Toman’s low drag flick took a wicked deflection and crashed into the post.
A delightful jink from Grace Stewart created an opening for Jane Claxton in the Hockeyroos’ best moment of the match but England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch made the save.
The Hockeyroos tried gallantly to erase the deficit as the minutes ticked down, Malone scoring at the death but England would not be denied at their home Games.
England 2 (Hunt 22’, Howard 26’)
Hockeyroos 1 (Malone 60’)
@ University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre
Hockeyroos: 1.Claire Colwill, 2.Rosie Malone, 4.Amy Lawton, 6.Penny Squibb, 7.Aleisha Power (gk), 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 10.Maddy Fitzpatrick, 12.Greta Hayes, 14.Steph Kershaw, 15.Kaitlin Nobbs, 18.Jane Claxton (c), 21.Renee Taylor, 24.Mariah Williams, 29.Rebecca Greiner, 30.Grace Stewart
Unused substitutes: 19.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 20.Karri Somerville