Hockey: Another win for the Black Sticks at Hawke's Bay Cup

Sophie Cocks of New Zealand runs with the ball against Argentina. Photo / Getty Images
Sophie Cocks of New Zealand runs with the ball against Argentina. Photo / Getty Images

he Black Sticks Women remain undefeated at the Hawke's Bay Cup after defeating China 3-1 this afternoon.

With the game locked up 1-1 at halftime, the hosts took control in the second half with a further two unanswered goals.

Striker Gemma Flynn scored a well-earned double while Sophie Cocks added a third for New Zealand.

Head coach Mark Hager said it was a better performance all around for his side after yesterday's tight 1-0 win over India.

"I thought we were better in the circle today but we they fought hard and we had to stick it out. It was one of those games which was always going to be tight and they're always a good opponent," he said.

"We go away and reassess tomorrow and need to continue to improve in our next game against Ireland. It will be an exciting game and they are getting a lot better so we definitely can't underestimate them."

China drew first blood late in the first quarter after Xiaoxue Zhang capitalised from a counter attack, firing the ball past goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.

The Black Sticks equalised in the 16th minute when Cocks put a hard pass across goal for Flynn to deflect in from the right post.

New Zealand had the opportunity to extend the lead just minutes later after Stacey Michelsen's length of the field run set up a stroke when Olivia Merry was taken out by the keeper, however Anita Punt's attempt was well defended.

Strikers Cocks and Flynn combined again in the 42nd minute, this time roles reversed with Flynn sending a ball into the circle for Cocks who got a deft touch into the back of the net.

The Black Sticks opened a two goal buffer in the first minute of the fourth quarter thanks to another counter attack, Flynn once again in the right spot to hit home the final shot at goal.

The Black Sticks have a rest day tomorrow at the Hawke's Bay Cup before meeting Ireland on Tuesday at 6pm.

In earlier results today Japan defeated Canada 6-2 and defending champions Australia recorded their first win with a 2-0 result over Korea.

- NZ Herald

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