Aussies Fight Back to Avenge Opening Defeats

The crowd and pitch during a match between Australia and Scotland women at Fleming Park, Eastleigh at the International Indoor Tri-Nations, December 2008Australia's men and women both recorded victories over England on day two of the International Indoor Tri-Nations at Fleming Park, Eastleigh on Saturday.

With Scotland taking to the pitch for the first time today without having had the benefit of pre-tournament training all eyes were on the Scottish women to see what they could bring to the party.  As it turned out they brought flair, discipline, structure and six goals in their opening game against Australia - a result which left the Aussies rock bottom in the women's pool after Scotland ran out 6-3 winners thanks in part to Kareena Marshall's late penalty corner brace.

England player Jo Ellis goes in for a tackle on Australia Captain Melissa Simpson during the International Indoor Tri-Nation Tournament at Eastleigh, December 2008The defeat, coupled with last night's England victory, must have inspired the Australian women because when they met England again in the afternoon they stormed back from 3-2 down at the break to surprise the hosts with a 5-4 victory; Captain Melissa Simpson (pictured) the star of the show with a hat-trick to secure the victory.

The final women's match played host to the weekend's first clash between England and Scotland.  England led 2-1 at the break courtesy of goals from Jo Ellis and Beckie Herbert but Amy Rown, Amy Brodie and Katrina Cameron added to Kareena Marshall's first half goal to give Scotland a 4-2 lead.  Just when it looked beyond England and with Scotland looking to shut up shop two late goals from Sally Walton, from a corner, and Jo Ellis in the very last second secured a 4-4 draw and spared England from a second defeat.

As things stand in the women's pool, Scotland top the table on goal difference over England despite having played one game fewer than England and Australia.  England sit level on points and just two goals behind the Scots with Australia just a further point behind with only Scotland to play.

In the men's competition Australia turned on a devastating display of five goals in 15 second half minutes to beat Scotland 8-3 after the Scots had pulled it back 3-3 after being 3-1 down at half time.  Michael Hogan was one of Australia's heros as he notched a hat-trick, which took him to the top of the goal scoring charts.

England's Ben Hawes at the International Indoor Tri-Nations at Fleming Park, Eastleigh, December 2008In men's game two Australia repeated what their female counterparts had done just an hour earlier as they came from 3-2 down at half time against England to win the match.  This time the winning margin was 7-5 with much credit going to Tom Allan for a hat-trick and the impressive Simon Beaton who bagged a brace for the second match in a row.  For England there were goals from Jonty Clarke, Richard Alexander, Ashley Jackson, Richard Smith and Adam Dixon.

Still reeling from their respective defeats by Australia, England and Scotland met in the last match of the day.  This game was always going to be tough as the passion flowed and quick and skillful hockey was put to good use in front of a capacity crowd.  A whirlwind opening saw Gareth Hall's early strike cancelled out by a wonder flick from Jackson in the fourth minute as he propelled the ball into the top right corner of the net giving Allan Dick in goal no chance.  Stephen Dick restored Scotland's lead only for Jonty Clarke to first equalise and then give England the lead for the first time in the match.  All this in the first 12 minutes of the game.  Clarke completed a seven minute hat-trick on 18 minutes and 4-2 was how it remained until the break.

Afterwards Scotland threatened but Richard Smith's goal for 5-2 made life tough for the Scots. No sooner had Ross McPherson reduced the deficit than Jackson extended it with another penalty corner goal.  With the clock nearing zero and the game beyond them Scotland scored their fourth in over time; Stephen Dick hitting the backboard from a penalty corner.

The result leaves Scotland bottom of the pile and requiring Australia and England tomorrow to salvage hopes of claiming second in the group.  England trail Australia by just one goal with the sides locked on six points apiece.

For all today's results, full match reports and tables in the men's competition click here.

For all today's results, full match reports and tables in the women's competition click here.