9 Feb 2019

Black Sticks seal huge win against Great Britain

10:03 am on 9 February 2019

The women's Black Sticks have rebounded to beat reigning Olympic champions Great Britain 5-1 in the Pro League.

Olivia Merry of the Black Sticks women celebrates scoring a goal during the FIH Pro League for Hockey played between Great Britain v Black Sticks Women, Nga Puna Wai Hockey Stadium in Christchurch. 08 February 2019. Copyright Image: Joseph Johnson / www.photosport.nz.

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2019

The Black Sticks showed an improved focus on both ends of the field as they took the result 5-1 to gain their first points of the Pro League.

Looking to bounce back after two tough defeats to the Netherlands and Belgium the Black Sticks got themselves on the scoreboard early through a goal to Olivia Merry breaking the Black Sticks scoreless drought in the Pro League.

The visitors got themselves on the scoreboard soon after when the Black Sticks were ruled to have stopped the ball with their body on the goal line resulting in a penalty stroke which was converted by Giselle Ansley.

There was no further change to the score as the first quarter finished with us tied at 1-1.

The second quarter was an exciting one which saw the Vantage Black Sticks retake the lead in the 19thminute with an Ella Gunson drag flick. The Black Sticks were looking to move the ball around quickly and expose the Great Britain defence.

With 8 seconds to go in the half the Black Sticks conceded a penalty corner off a crash ball into the circle. The Black Sticks defence ran down the penalty corner and withstood the Great Britain attack to head to the sheds with a 2-1 lead.

The Great Britain side started the 3rdquarter positively and challenged the Black Sticks keeper Grace O'Hanlon was up to the task to keep the Black Sticks lead intact. Olivia Merry then disposed one of the Great Britain defenders of the ball and powered into the circle to rocket a shot past the keeper and increase the Black Sticks lead 3-1.

Olivia Merry converted a penalty corner to score her third goal of the evening and put the Black Sticks in a commanding position with 10 minutes to go in the match. The Black Sticks then broke down the field and Amy Robinson slotted home the Black Sticks final goal for the evening.

Their male counterparts lost to Great Britain earlier in the evening 6-2.