Hockey: Black Sticks' battling win

Head coach Mark Hager said the Indians were by far the better team in the first half. Photo / Natalie Slade.
Head coach Mark Hager said the Indians were by far the better team in the first half. Photo / Natalie Slade.

The Black Sticks women's team came from behind to beat India in Napier yesterday.

India struck first after a scoreless first half but three late goals gave the Black Sticks victory in the second game of the series.

The Black Sticks got on the scoreboard through a field goal to Canterbury's Sian Fremaux after a goal circle scramble. Wellington's Anita Punt gave the home side the lead with a penalty corner flick and Charlotte Harrison made sure of the victory with a deflection.

Head coach Mark Hager said the Indians were by far the better team in the first half.

"But it was pleasing to see us come back in that second spell and in the last 15 minutes we created a lot of opportunities," he said.

"Now that India have settled into their work we'll have to ensure we don't turn the ball over as much as we did today."

Wellington defender Aniwaka Roberts was the standout player for the Black Sticks.

Seven players made their debut in Saturday's first test, a 7-2 victory for New Zealand, and there was an eighth yesterday with 19-year-old Michaela Curtis (Central) wearing the black strip for the first time.

The Black Sticks have a rest day today before the third and fourth tests in Palmerston North tomorrow and Wednesday.

The final two games in the six-test series will be at the National Hockey Stadium in Newtown, Wellington, on Friday and Saturday.

The New Zealand men's hockey team found consolation at the conclusion of an underwhelming Champions Trophy campaign, defeating England in golden goal extra time yesterday to avoid last place.

With the score deadlocked at 2-2 at the end of regulation time in Melbourne, Nick Wilson delivered the winning blow by deflecting a penalty corner strike from Shea McAleese.

It was a deserved victory in the final classification game for the Black Sticks who, despite their disappointing seventh-place finish, will take heart from their performances while blooding a new breed of youngsters.

With coach Colin Batch still in his first month in the job, and several senior players unavailable, New Zealand were always up against it in this tournament.

New Zealand 3
India 1

- APNZ

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