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Arrows knock Scorchers from top spot
05 Apr 2005 15:28

The NSW Arrows halted the firepower of the Queensland Scorchers by defeating them 3-2 in Round 6 of the Australian Hockey League (AHL) in Canberra today, opening the way for the SmokeFree WA Diamonds, last year’s champions, to move to the top of the ladder.

Despite struggling in some of the earlier rounds of the competition, the Arrows showed today that they have the potential to shoot for the top by defeating the Scorchers who have only dropped one game in previous rounds.

The Arrows pushed the Scorchers onto their back foot from the start of the match, with Kellie Lee James and Piki Hamahona each scoring within the first 15 minutes. While the pressure remained on the Scorchers, Renae Holmes managed to salvage a penalty corner conversion just before half time.

The second half saw yet more intense and urgent play from the Arrows, resulting in another goal to midfielder Mel Twitt. Despite some late pressure in the second half from the Scorchers, and a penalty corner goal from Angie Skirving, the NSW defence worked hard to maintain the lead, and take their sweetest victory to date.

Meanwhile in the second game of the day, it was the SmokeFree WA Diamonds’ turn to sparkle as they cruised to an easy 7-0 one-sided victory over the Territory Pearls.

Seemingly fatigued from yesterday’s game against the Wrest Point Van Demons, the Pearls were forced to work hard as the Diamonds used the width of the field to keep their opponents on the run. As the goals flowed from WA striker Sian Smithson, Northern Territory’s goal keeper, Lisa Herbertson, was kept on her toes but maintained her encouragement of the team.

The win takes the Diamonds to the top of the table, providing them with an excellent placing before they take on the Canberra Labor Club Strikers on Thursday in a re-match of last year’s final.

The Adelaide Suns clung onto their fourth spot on the points table after a 1-0 victory over the Azuma Vipers in a lacklustre display of hockey. The goal came from a penalty corner early in the match from Melody Rowe, and despite a fairly even game throughout, neither team was able to find the back of the nets again.

The Suns will meet the Scorchers in the next game and will need to shine in their performance for their chance to make the finals.

In the final match of the day, the Canberra Labor Club Strikers enjoyed a less pressured match against the Wrest Point Van Demons.and showed their skill and strength in front of the home crowd.

A 7-2 win impressed the Canberra spectators, however the Van Demons displayed grit and determination in a much improved performance from yesterday. Tasmanian goal keeper Fiona Allen cleared the balls cleanly to thwart the Strikers attack, and striker Sofie McLeod put in a strong attack on the opposition putting the score at 2-1 to the Strikers in the first half.

The Strikers however found their pace in the second half and in the last 25 minutes turned on the goal scoring with Peta Gallagher putting two on the scoreboard. Despite the result, the Strikers were denied a move into the top four after the Suns win, and a positive result in the final round match against the Diamonds is now crucial to achieving a semi final berth.

NSW Arrows 3 defeated Queensland Scorchers 2
Goals: Arrows - Kellie-Lee James FG 14m, Piki Hamahona FG 15m, Melanie Twitt PC 39m; Scorchers - Renae Holmes PC 34m, Angie Skirving PC 68m

SmokeFree WA Diamonds 7 defeated Territory Pearls 0
Goals: Diamonds - Jemma Buckley FG 9m, Sian Smithson FG 20m PC 26m FG 68m, Bree Murray FG 32m, Shelly Liddelow FG 54m, Shayni Buswell FG 66m

Adelaide Suns 1 defeated Azuma Vipers 0
Goals: Suns - Melody Rowe PC 9m

Canberra Labor Club Strikers 7 defeated Wrest Point Van Demons 2
Goals: Strikers - Nicole Arrold PC 9m, Tonina Staunton FG 27m, Peta Gallagher PC 41m FG 49m, Erin Smyth PC 45m, Toni Stewart FG 52m FG 65m; Van Demons – Sofie McLeod PC 24m PC 43m

Points Table
Diamonds 28 points
Scorchers 27
Arrows 27
Suns 24
Strikers 20
Vipers 12
Pearls 4
Van Demons 2

Match Schedule
Thursday 7 April
1pm Territory Pearls v Azuma Vipers
3pm Queensland Scorchers v Adelaide Suns
5pm NSW Arrows v Wrest Point Van Demons
7pm Canberra Labor Club Strikers v SmokeFree WA Diamonds


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