Our 60s team are TT Champions after a very hard match today. We started positively and had the better of play for the first twenty minutes, but were unable to score. Then, momentum changed and we were under considerable pressure from the Kiwis who were playing better hockey than us. A goalmouth scrimmage just before half time, where we failed to clear the ball from the circle, led to a goal for NZ.
The Kiwis maintained the pressure in the second half and scored a second goal in the 50th minute with our defence in disarray. Denis Cranston had to be substituted because of a quad muscle tear for the last twenty minutes and Bob Banks was moved to the forward line to add extra drive.
We began to get back into the match and Bruce Snape converted a penalty corner. We continued to push hard and Noel French then scored a superb field goal after picking up a long overhead ball. It was a memorable effort from Noel.
The final five minutes was all Australia and we went close to scoring s third goal. However, the draw saw us clinch the series because of our win in the first test.
Thanks to the magnificent efforts of Cec Martin, we had 16 fit - players for the final match
New Zealand lead Australia by 32 points to 23 with one round of Test Matches to play tomorrow, Saturday. Every team is hoping for fine weather.
The Mens 60s need a win or a draw to win their competition. Our match is at 8.30 am, NZ time.
60S DRAW 1-1 in spiteful contest
After a day of cold winds and steady rain, the 60s match began in dry conditions. The full schedule of games was played on Thursday despite the continuing rain and water-logged pitches. The 5 matches that were not played on Wednesday will be played on Friday morning.
We played very well for the first twenty minutes and led 1-0 after Dale Thompson converted from a penalty corner rebound. The Kiwis were not daunted by our lead and lifted their tempo. Their pressure paid off and a mishap in clearing from a free hit gave possession away and a swift pass to an unmarked winger gave the Kiwis the opportunity to score - which they did convincingly.
David Peebles responded well to the kiwi pressure and won a penalty stroke when he was crudely brought down in the circle. The taking of the stroke was delayed for 5 minutes while an altercation between McConnell and the entire kiwi team was untangled. The event was very disconcerting to our team and after the penalty stroke attempt by sweeney was superbly saved by the NZ keeper, our composure was broken.
The remainder of the match was a real arm-wrestle with too much heavy tackling which was not punished by the umpires. We were a little lucky to survive with a draw.
Bob Banks, Graham Corney and David Peebles played well and once more our goalkeepers, David Spiden and Peter Neagle were excellent.
We will have a tough assignment of Saturday to re-group and attempt to overcome the now-confident Kiwis.
60S TRIUMPH IN WET CONDITIONS
Our 60s team produced a masterful display of solid, composed pressure hockey to overcome a determined NZ team in constant rain at the North Harbour stadium this afternoon, 1-0 (sweeney, 47 min).
The pitch had a difficult coverage of water throughout the match and this made it impossible to play our normal style. However, such is the quality of our players that we adapted extremely well to the playing conditions.
We had the better of the match but found goal-scoring difficult. Both teams had a number of penalty corner opportunities but the goalkeeping was outstanding. David Spiden and Peter Neagle made many fine saves, particularly in an exciting final two minutes when NZ had five penalty corners.
Aussie debutantes, Bob Banks and John Chapman were superb throughout the match. Every player in our side performed so well under the trying conditions. Peter Byrne at left half, Bruce Snape, Dennis Cranston, Denis Lovell, Allan Schasser, Rick McConnell were very effective in defence and they laid a solid foundation for our victory.
MEN - 40 AUS 1 NZ 3; 50 AUS 0 -NZ 1; 55 AUS 2 NZ 2;
WOMEN - 40 AUS 0 NZ 0; 50 AUS 1 NZ 0.
All other matches were abandoned because of flooded fields and will be played on Friday.
The past three weeks has been an absolutely fabulous, highly enjoyable adventure and our group - players, management, medical (Debbie Oliver), partners and children - have had the most marvellous time. The cameraderie within the group was such that everyone enjoyed each others' company - we had a cohesive and happy touring party.
The team played a thrilling brand of fast, open hockey and every player fully supported the coach's plans and instructions. We had some brilliant victories during the tournament and lost only one match. The team was lead superbly by captain Bruce Snape and vice-captain, David Peebles and I thank them for the valuable contribution that they made to the success of the tour. I also thank our manager, Bob Thompson and assistant manager, Gary Smith for the very professional manner in which they looked after the myriad tasks that were required of them. The team's medical officer, Debbie Oliver worked tirelessly to ensure that our players were fit to play - much of the team's success is a direct result of Debbie's work. Many thanks I congratulate the team on winning the Silver Medal at the World Cup - a magnificent achievement.
Rudy Keswick won the players' player award by one vote from Bruce Snape with David Peebles and Noel French another vote behind. From the coach's perspective, every player in the squad performed wonderfully well and demonstrated their ability to be competitive at an international standard.
We lost 2-1 to a very tight Dutch defence in the World cup final at Oxford. Our team played below our best at times while at other times being dominant but without success from our attacking moves.
The 10 man dutch defence were resilient and their tackling skills are exceptional. We were 1-0 down after 10 minutes when the Dutch scored against the run of play. Bruce Snape equalised in the 20th minute after some good build-up down the left wing. The contest remained tight throughout the second quarter, but we still managed some excellent circle penetrations, through the efforts of Rudy Keswick, Peter Morgan and Neil Sue See, and won three penalty corners. Unfortunately, the corners were poorly executed and our previous success rate with them was not repeated.
On the stroke of half time, the worst umpiring decision of the tournament saw the Dutch awarded a penalty corner - which was converted after we failed to clear the ball from the circle after the shot at goal was saved. Half-time 1-2 down.
The second half saw us attack relentlessly, but without any success. We lost our structure for a while and tried too many fruitless attacks down the right and perhaps too many through the crammed middle of the field. The dutch goalkeeper made some fine saves during a frenetic final 10 minutes, but it was one of those games that we have all played at times - dominate but don't score.
The Dutch play a very defensive style of hockey that is quite different to our attacking style. We will always play attacking hockey and, hopefully, next time, we will overcome them.
A comprehensive team performance was the dominant feature of our stunning victory over Germany in the first semi-final of the World Cup. Cohesive teamwork combined with excellent positional play, a rock-solid defence and quick passing put us on top throughout the match.
David Peebles set the tone in the fifth minute by finishing off some great lead-up work from John Creamer and Noel French. Bruce Snape's conversion of a penalty corner a few minutes later put us in command of the match by the end of the first quarter. Our press caused more intercepts to occur and we able to force many turnovers. Two further goals in the second quarter, by Peter Morgan and John Creamer saw us take a 4-0 lead into the half-time break.
Germany pulled a goal back in the 40th minute after some excellent passes lead to our defence being penetrated. We continued to play our strong passing game and Bruce Snape restored the four goal buffer with another penalty corner conversion. Rudy Keswick, who was closely marked throughout the game, scored a brilliant individual field goal, after weaving his way through many defenders.
Noel French completed the scoring after some more great work by Rudy.
Man of the Match
Bill Drewett was outstanding at centre back and did not miss one tackle or trap during the game. Striker, Noel French turned in a fine running performance at centre forward.
We will play the Netherlands on Friday as a result of their good win over England, 4-1
In a stirring match that lived up to its billing as the best of the tournament so far, the Australia vs. Netherlands game provided the large crowd with an exciting contest. My team showed great character, composure and concentration to overcome the Dutch 2-1, after conceding an early goal from a penalty corner. There was a genuine need for those attributes to be called upon, given the prevalence of the Europeans to often fall to the ground clutching their knees when tackled. They are past masters at that sort of “game” and successful at “conning” umpires.
The Netherlands started strongly with their typical short passing game and were able to make several circle penetrations, one of which produced a superb strike at goal which required a piece of goalkeeping excellence from our David Spiden. This was a critical moment in the game.
Our balanced attack then got to work and forced a penalty corner which John Creamer converted after a lay-off to the right. Creamer’s powerful shot was placed to perfection and gave the Dutch defence no chance. 1-1 at half time.
An evenly balanced third quarter featured many clashes involving some heavy tackling and rock solid defence from the Australians. Rusty Clucas made a great save on the line and Peter Neagle repelled several shots. With patience, we applied great pressure to the Dutch defence and won penalty corners. That “ornament” to the game, Denis Lovell converted magnificently in the 56th minute to give us the lead. Our team was clearly on top during the fourth quarter and, with an error free performance from our midfield, our forwards made many visits to the Dutch circle. Neill Patterson, Noel French, Neil Sue See and David Peebles all had shots either saved or deflected wide.
The match was marred by the Dutch approach and 7 players (5 Dutch, 2 Australians) received cards.
Man of the Match.
David Spiden’s goalkeeping was a very significant factor in the victory and encouraged the team to rise to the occasion. As noted earlier, our midfield and defence produced error free hockey. Bruce Snape, Bill Drewett, Rick McConnell, Neil Patterson, Dale Thompson, Russell Clucas, Peter Morgan and Denis Lovell all played superbly.
The win saw our team finish top of Pool A and set up a semi-final against Germany on Wednesday afternoon. England will meet the Netherlands in the second semi-final.
The English LX Hockey Club has provided a special treat by arranging a free bus service from three local hotels to and from the North Oxford Hockey Grounds. The bus is a vintage Red London Double decker and is a real "hit" with players and supporters.
A brilliant, late-summer Oxford day provided the perfect setting for a quality performance against Japan - a marked improvement over that of the previous day. Teamwork and superb passing across the field and on neat angles were a feature, leading to several well-taken goals. Japan tried hard but our skillful players always had the better of them. The 9-0 result was achieved more easily than the similar score against Italy, but the cohesiveness of the team's effort proved the difference.
David Peebles was once again in a goal scoring mood, bagging a hat trick and taking his tally to 7. The back story to the goalscoring is clearly a vigilant defence plus superb midfield and wing play from Denis Lovell, Dale Thompson, Bill Drewett, Rick McConnell, Rudy Keswick, Neil Sue See, Peter Morgan and John Creamer. Noel French also is proving a handful for our opponents. Unfortunately Ian Evans incurred a calf injury early in the match. We hope that he will be fit for our crucial game against the undefeated Netherlands on Monday. It will be a compelling contest.
Man of the Match
Today Denis Lovell was the standout player demonstrating excellent positional play, robust tackling and sublime passing.