The GB Swans have had a rapid rise to fame in International Cup terms. Finishing strongly in the last quarter of today’s match to take third place in the Women’s Division. The Americans, much more established and of enough depth to bring two squads to Australia will be disappointed with their fourth place finish after a loss to the International Cup newcomers.
The match began in very ordinary weather with a strong wind blowing across the ground with some rain mixed in for good measure. The GB Swans suffered an early blow with Ellie Sutherland being carried off with what looked like a bad ankle injury.
The US made best use of the ball early and Jess Gray gathered in the forward 50 and ran her full distance before delivering the ball over the back to Kim Hemenway who ran the ball in and goaled from close range. The US pushed hard but Frankie Hocking pushed back and did a great job in defence for the Swans.
An errant defensive kick by a Freedom defender towards the centre of the ground did not come off and GB’s Lisa Wilson brought the game back to level pegging when she swooped on the ball and snapped the goal from 40 out, the ball tumbling through the big sticks.
At quarter time it was a goal a piece.
The second quarter was an arm wrestle with plenty of kick to kick between half back lines. GB scored first but only a behind. The arm wrestle fell the way of the US though and Katie Klatt showed great composure to goal on the run from 40 out. Kim Hemenway looked like she would add another as she once again got the ball over the back and ran towards goal but her kick dribbled to the wrong side of the goal post (we hear Kims hands were so cold she couldn’t feel the ball drop).
The Freedom took a one goal lead into half time.
Hemenway made up for the previous miss by converting after gathering inside 50 and running in to kick her second for the Freedom. Caroline Sellar hit back with one for the Swan soccering the ball after the long kick inside 50 hit the deck.
Katie Klatt was doing a great job through the middle of the ground to drive the Freedom forward and again Hemenway got out over the back to kick her third. But the GB Swans just kept coming as Danni Saulter picked one up from the pack and snapped it through the middle. GB breaking even for the quarter, but still a goal behind going into the last quarter.
The breeze in the last quarter was across the ground but slightly favouring the end that GB was kicking to in the last. Caroline Sellar scored first for the Swans, but just a behind, leaving a five point deficit. Both teams fought hard at every contest. Margaret Leone battled hard in the ruck against Alannah Blount in the absence of the injured Hallie Lee and Brette Brower (Brette is apparently doing well and is in a neck brace with what we believe is a damaged ligament in her neck). GB Swan's captain Laura Turner will her team on in voice and in deeds.
Frankie Hocking was the match winning hero for the GB Swans, she put the Freedom in the lead when she marked a high ball 25m out from goal. Her high drop punt float through the big posts for 6 points to the delight of her team mates. She then put the final nail in the Freedom’s coffin when Lisa Wilson got the ball clear in the pocket, and might have been having a shot, or might have meant the flat pass to hit Hocking. At any rate Hocking quickly drilled the ball home to give the Swans a seven point win and third place in the tournament.
Goal Kickers: C. Sellar, F. Hocking, D. Saulter, R. Ramadan, L. Wilson
Best Players: C. Eales, A. Blount, A. Saulter, F. Hocking, R. Ramadan, L. Darby
Goal Kickers: K. Hemenway 3, K. Klatt
Best Players: M. Leone, B. English, L. Kastanek, K. Hemenway, C. Smolak, R. Leslie
McAlister Oval 12:30pm- Playoff for 3rd / 4th - USA vs Great Britain
|| 4.1 (25)
|| 5.2 (32)