Tasmania’s Under 21 Women have scored a big 2-1 victory over the A.C.T. on the second day of the national championships in Lismore, NSW.
The sides were all tied 0-0 at half-time and A.C.T. scored in the 3rd quarter from a penalty corner to give them a slim lead, but a massive final quarter and goals to Julia Gunn and Phillida Bridley delivered a stunning comeback win which has the Women in a strong position with one more pool match to go.
Goalscorer Bridley said that the sides were evenly matched and that the fact that all goals were eventually scored from penalty corners shows that little separated the teams in general play.
“The match was really anyone’s game and A.C.T. put up a big fight. We just had to work harder. After they scored we had the third quarter break to get organised again, and Macca [Coach Andrew McDonald] reassured us that we were more than capable of winning the game, we just had to put the extra efforts in,” she said.
In the 48th minute Julia Gunn pounced on a PC rebound from Georgia Williams to score the equalising goal that gave her side a big lift. Bridley followed that up just three minutes from the final siren with a direct PC strike low into the corner of the goals.
“Everyone was pretty ecstatic and happy that we were 2-1 up and with only a few minutes to go we needed to just keep it simple,” said Bridley.
“After not winning a single game last year it was pretty amazing to get the win today especially with such a young and new bunch of girls.”
They’ll enjoy a rest day tomorrow before playing their final pool match against New South Wales, who lost to Victoria today. A win there will see the Women finish top two in their pool and be in a favourable position for the quarter finals and a potential chance at a medal match.
The Tasmanian Under 21 Men fell to a 1-3 loss to Western Australia in their match today.
Sam McCulloch scored his fourth goal of the championships in the first quarter to give Tasmania the lead. Coach Ben Read said they started in the complete opposite fashion to their opening day match.
“We started really well, and that was our focus after yesterday. We put on some good early pressure and asked some
questions of the WA defence that they perhaps weren’t ready for,” he said.
But Western Australia equalised in the second quarter before 2 quick goals in the third quarter to take the game away from Tasmania.
“We let ourselves down a bit with ill-discipline, but the main reason we didn’t get the result was that we didn’t take our chances. To only score one was a little disappointing.”
Attacking midfielder Oliver Smith said that the side is remaining upbeat because they know they are playing well and that the way the championships are structured they just need to make sure they’re ready for a big quarter final.
“WA defended pretty well in the final quarter. We definitely had the opportunities but we just lacked that polish in the circle, and they just put away all their chances,” he said.
They also enjoy a rest day tomorrow before their final pool match against NSW B on Saturday.