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Dwyer fires Kookaburras
01 Feb 2006 15:07

Australia 4 Spain 2
Goals: AUS – Jamie Dwyer FG 19m FG 48m, Grant Schubert FG 59m, Nathan Eglington FG 70m; ESP – Victor Sojo FG 34m, Eduard Tubau PS 40m

Hockey Australia: Jamie Dwyer showed why he is considered one of the best players in world hockey with a dominant performance in Hobart tonight, two magical goals helping the Kookaburras to a 4-2 win over Spain.

The win sees the Kookaburras go 2-0 up in the best of five tests, with Spain needing two very big wins in the remaining two matches to take the series away from Australia.

It will take a huge effort from the Spaniards to do so, especially after the second half performance of the young Kookaburra side whose run and transition into attack again proved too much.

With Barry Dancer taking a look at some of the younger players vying for a Commonwealth Games' spot, and resting the likes of Bevan George, Dean Butler, Brent Livermore, Michael McCann, Travis Brooks, and Stephen Mowlam it was thought the hole left in the side from Sunday would be too big to fill.

However, Robbie Hammond, Mark Knowles and some of the other less experienced players gave fans some encouraging signs of the future of men's hockey in this country, showing some real composure when it counted in the second half when Spain hit the lead 2-1 through a penalty stroke to Eduard Tubau.

Up until that time it had been a pretty even match, Jamie Dwyer opening the scoring in the 19th minute when he pounced on a loose ball in front of goal, having no trouble flicking it over the helpless keepers diving attempt.

In the 34th minute though Victor Sojo seized upon a Stephen Lambert deflection for Spain's first goal of the night which took the team's into half time on level footing.

Spain stepped up after the break with a couple of attacking runs, the second of which drew a penalty shot against Lambert, Eduard Tubau having no trouble converting to give Spain the lead.

It was then that the Kookaburras stood up. It took a piece of Dwyer brilliance to snap the young side into action; his lone effort on the goal line, dribbling the ball past defenders like they were witches cones and slotting the ball into the back of the net, sending the Hobart crowd wild.

Grant Schubert then got in on the action, his one-two play with Eglington resulting in the Kookaburras third goal as they controlled play through the midfield and into attack.

Eglington made it 4-2 in the dying moments after Mark Boyce beautifully intercepted a Spanish thrust forward and then found Eglington running into attack, his diving goal capping off a great night for the Kookaburras.

It wasn't such a good night for Matthew Wells though. In only his second game in front of his home crowd, the captain twinged the hamstring that has kept him out of action for the last two games. The injury will cast some doubt on whether he'll play in the remaining two matches on Friday at 7pm and Sunday at 1pm.

Coach's comments:
On the result
"I am pleased with the win tonight. Particularly pleased with the second half. It was an unsettled first half. Our midfield defensive structures weren't as strong as they were on Sunday. But in the second half we improved and had a better transition into attack."

On the performance of the young side
"One of the most pleasing aspects was that the team showed some real composure. There was some real maturity out there. To respond as we did when Spain got on top was very pleasing."

On Matthew Wells
"He has a slight hamstring strain. We’ll reassess it in the morning and make some decisions. Clearly we’re not going to be taking any risks with it."

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