Alia Jacques, second right (No 21), celebrates her goal for the New Zealand Black Sticks against Australia Hockeyroos.
At National Hockey Centre, Auckland: New Zealand 1 (Alia Jacques 6min) Australia 1 (Shanea Tonkin 30min). HT: 1-1
Victory over Australia’s Hockeyroos again proved elusive for the Black Sticks women as a late penalty corner attempt was deflected away, right on fulltime in Auckland on Saturday.
Stephanie Dickins’ drag flick, after Deanna Ritchie earned the penalty corner with 15 seconds remaining, was saved by Australia’s goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram to leave the scores locked 1-1 at fulltime.
The second draw of the series means New Zealand still have a chance to level it in the fourth and final match on Sunday (3.30pm).
Shanea Tonkin, Australia’s goalscorer, contests with Megan Hull, left.
But it’s now 13 matches since their last victory over their trans-Tasman rivals, dating back to September 2019.
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Both sides were down on personnel for game three, with Australia reduced to just 15 fit players due to injury and illness, while frontline New Zealand trio Olivia Merry, Olivia Shannon and Hope Ralph were all ruled out.
Still it was a slick start by the hosts as they scored with just five minutes on the clock. Ritchie, one of New Zealand’s best, stormed into the circle and found Alia Jacques who slotted home from close range.
That was the Black Sticks’ only real chance of the first half, and Australia inevitably fought back.
Just before halftime, a blistering shot from Mariah Williams was deflected by Shanea Tonkin to level the scores.
Both sides had chances to clinch it, with New Zealand’s Dickins missing from close range before Australia’s Stephanie Kershaw’s attempt was well saved by Brooke Roberts.
It all came down to the final minute as the Black Sticks earned their first penalty corner of the match but couldn’t convert.