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Women’s AHL still completely open
01 Apr 2008 14:08

Top spot of the AHL ladder won't be decided until after round 7 with goal difference the only thing separating the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers, NSW Arrows and the SmokeFree WA Diamonds going into the last round.

Round 6 AHL results

OAMPS Queensland Scorchers - Victorian Vipers 4-0
NSW Arrows - Canberra Strikers 5-1
Southern Suns - NT Pearls 3-1
SmokeFree WA Diamonds - Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons 2-1

Despite suffering a heavy loss to NSW today the Canberra Strikers have confirmed a semi final berth with the Victorian Vipers, NT Pearls, Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons and Southern Suns all making up the minor places.

The Scorchers, Diamonds and Arrows will now be in a race to score the most goals in tomorrows round 7 action against the Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons, Canberra Strikers and the NT Pearls respectively. The Scorchers are currently in the box seat, with a goal difference of 15 compared to the 11 goal difference of the Diamonds and the Strikers.

The first match of round 6 saw the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers claim a 4-0 victory over the Victorian Vipers.

Both teams entered the match realizing the importance of the outcome. The Scorchers needed a high goal difference to maintain top spot on the AHL ladder, with the SmokeFree WA Diamonds and NSW Arrows breathing down their necks. While the Vipers were desperate to claim a win a stay in contention for a top four finish.

The first half was fairly even, with Queensland recording a number of errors especially with their penalty corner set ups, while Victorian goalkeeper Rachel Imison was fantastic in defense.

Victoria had their share of midfield attack with Claire Messent and Renee Trost working hard. However Queensland repelled every move with Teneal Attard and Angie Lambert controlling the back half.

Queensland eventually grabbed the ascendancy in the 19th minute via a penalty corner conversion when Suzie Faulkner scored over Imison's pads and left the score at 1-0 at half time.

Shortly into the second half Faulkner scored again for the Scorchers, followed by their third after some skilful team work with four slick passes in the circle ending with Prue Eiser finishing the deed.

The last goal for the Scorchers came via a penalty corner conversion thanks to the work of Teneal Attard.

The NSW Arrows established themselves as a real threat at the AHL after defeating the Canberra Strikers by four goals today.

The Canberra Strikers started the game well, controlling the ball in their attacking half and only allowing the occasional NSW attacker through their defense.

Keen to use these opportunities, Arrow Kate Hollywood gave the Strikers a taste of her ability by dribbling the ball solo down the left and making her own way into the circle, scoring her first goal.

This seemed to fire up the Arrows and the play quickly switched to their attack. Soon after, Kate Hollywood recorded another field goal when she pushed the ball past the goalie into the left corner.

The remainder of the first half was dominated by the Arrows with the help of effective forwards Megan Rivers and Kellie-Lee James. Their third goal was the result of NSW making the most of the umpires call of advantage, and it was James that drove the goal home.

Kellie -Lee James weaved her way back into the circle early in the second half setting up the Arrows' fourth goal for Piki Hamahona.

It was then back to the middle, and the Strikers made the most of the possession, quickly achieving their first and only goal of the match. After a failed attempt at goals, Charlotte Harrison responded with an immediate hit to cross the ball over the goal line.

The play seemed to swing between each end of the field, however NSW maintain their momentum to continue their fine form at the AHL.

The Southern Suns won their second game in a row during game three of round 6 at the expense of the NT Pearls.

South Australia looked on top of the game in the first half of a match that was always theirs. Kayla Sharland showed superior skills throughout the half and sliced a tomahawk into goals in the 11th minute.

In the 11th minute Janelle Pisani hit a lightning cross from the right and Rachel Hampton batted the ball high over the goalie for the second.

Mayumi Ono was deft in attack for NT and set up a series of penalty corners. Dee-Anne Gilbert was dynamic in defense and saved everything in sight.

Kayla Sharland was everywhere for the Suns and drag flicked the third penalty low and hard. In the last 10 minutes the Pearls picked up their pace and Fiona Young and Samantha Gale forced their way toward their circle. Gale had one shot to the top right which was deflected by the goalie and was the save of the day by Gilbert.

In the 63rd minute Heather Langham hit the ball from the 25 through a pack of players and Mayumu Ono one-timed the ball near the back line and slammed it home making the final score 3-1.

The Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons took it up to the SmokeFree WA Diamonds but the home team walked away eventual winners in the last match of round 6.

WA was out to get multiple goals and keep top spot on the ladder in tonight's last game. Tassie had other ideas and although WA attacked throughout the majority of the first half, the Tassie defense was more often than not up to the challenge.

The mercurial Hope Munro, Ashleigh Nelson and Shelly Liddelow were dynamic in attack for WA, with Munro scoring the only goal of the first half after receiving a pass at the top of the circle and then finding the back of the net.

The second half started at a fierce pace, with the Van Demons converting a penalty corner to put them back in the game.

Eloise Duay and Lucy Ockenden never gave up for Tasmania and Rachel Lynch had a marvelous game in goals.

However a late goal in the 66th minute secured the win for WA, with the team now needing to record a high score against the NT Pearls tomorrow night to stay in the running for first position on the AHL ladder.

Source: Hockey Australia

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