Western Australia’s Thundersticks and Diamonds kicked off their 2017 Australian Hockey League campaigns with two wins today in a rain-soaked opening day at Perth Hockey Stadium.
The Diamonds started with a 4-2 win, playing host to the Canberra strikers.
Wearing the number 1 jersey for the Diamonds is UWA student and UWA Hockey Club player Pippa Morgan. She goes in to the Diamonds squad the youngest player at aged 19.
The game started with a stale mate, the score tied 0-0 after the first period. Canberra struck early in the second period to steer the game in their favour.
Coming back from 2-0 down, Katy Clarke clawed back an early goal within a minute into the third period. Penny Squibb followed this up flicking home two penalty corners to take the lead before the end of the period.
Long-time UWA player Pippa is a midfielder who was recently selected to the national development squad for 2017. Pippa also features in the UWA Student Athlete Development Program alongside Hockeyroo Georgia Wilson.
The WA Diamonds have won seven AHL titles but they haven’t won since 2010. After just missing out on the semi-finals in 2016, they will be hoping to make it this year.
After coming second in 2016 the WA men's side, the WA Thundersticks, will be looking to go one step further and claim the title. The Thundersticks were up against the Northern Territory Stingers in their opening match.
Following their success in the state league, four UWA Hockey Club men’s players have been rewarded with call ups to the Thundersticks. Coby Green, Frazer Gerrard, James Royce and Frank Main have all been included in the Thundersticks squad.
The Thundersticks saw off two quick goals in the first period to set themselves up for a strong victory. A goal by each team in the final minutes of the game meant that the score finished 3-1 to the Thundersticks.
A win for both the men’s and women’s teams is an exciting first step for WA hockey in the AHL, and both will no doubt be looking to continue their success into future games. Next up for the men is a game against India, while the women will face Northern Territory, who come off a 5-0 loss to Queensland.
Graduate Officer, Media, Communication and Events