HOCKEYROOS 8 (1)
Ashleigh Nelson 19, 28, 35 (F, F, F)
Jayde Taylor 26 (F)
Madonna Blyth 30 (F)
Brooke Peris 31 (F)
Casey Eastham 33 (F)
Claire Messent 36 (F)
MALAYSIA 0 (0)
It took a while for the Hockeyroos to find their scoring boots, but once they did they put Malaysia to the sword in their opening contest at the International Super Series Hockey 9s in Perth
“We didn’t use the space in the first half but that was something we addressed at half-time, so once we did that it worked well,” said Ashleigh Nelson, who bagged a hat-trick.
The game marked the Hockey 9s comeback for Kobie McGurk following her second knee reconstruction as she joined a Hockeyroos side which featured a mix of youth and experience.
Malaysia’s tactic of playing a solo striker high up the pitch paid dividends at first as the Hockeyroos struggled to break down a solid defence and risked getting caught on the break. However, relief from a frustrating opening spell came in the last minute of the first half when Nelson finished off a ping-pong encounter in the Malaysian circle.
The visiting goalkeeper proved a useful barrier to further progress from the Hockeyroos but three minutes into the second period Jayde Taylor made it 2-0 and then the goals came at a rate of one a minute until the Hockeyroos had racked up eight.
Nelson finished with three, and there were also contributions from captain Madonna Blyth, who netted a super shot from the top of the circle, and youngster Brooke Peris, who got the deftest of touches to make it 5-0.
The sixth came from Casey Eastham, while Claire Messent rounded off the scoring.
Anna Flanagan enjoyed her evening: “I think the format is great, it’s good for the crowd and it’s high scoring. It complements the traditional game – it’s not a replacement but it adds value.”
Malaysian coach Moho Bin Ibrahim was not too downhearted: “It is great to play against the top teams and we hope this will help us get to the next level. We will focus on tackling and marking in our next game,” he said.