The Vantage Black Sticks Men have fallen to a clinical German side in an entertaining match played at an incredibly high speed and skill level. In the end the difference between the two sides was the clinical nature of the German side from penalty corners.
The Black Sticks Men took on the highly ranked German Men’s side in the second match of the double header on Friday evening. The game started off at a frenetic pace with both sides pushing hard and playing some positive hockey. Despite the positive nature that the game was played in after one quarter we were still goalless.
The second quarter started in a similar fashion with both sides looking to change the point of attack to open up space on the other side of the field. Neither side looked willing to give the other any clear shots at goal and continued to stop any of the small chances that were being constructed. The Black Sticks as the quarter wore on began to promote their right half and look for an overlap to put the opposition under pressure. With three minutes to go in the half Germany earned the first penalty corner of the match. Richard Joyce made a low save to keep the ball out of the goal and keep the scored locked at 0-0. The Black Sticks late in the first half had an opportunity when they managed to take the ball off the Germany defender. Neither Dominic Newman or Nic Woods was able to get a clear shot off on the play. We ended the first half with the score 0-0 and set up what is looking likely to be a incredibly entertaining second half.
Germany started the second half strongly and earned a penalty corner in the first 30 seconds. They went for a post deflection which was shut down by the Black Sticks Men. The Black Sticks then failed to clear out of defence and the German side found an open Marco Miltkau who pushed the ball over the line to put Germany up 1-0. The Black Sticks then looked to control the game and were swinging the ball around the back of the field at a great speed as they tried to open up the side channels and put the Germany defence under pressure. Germany late in the third quarter got themselves another penalty corner when the Black Sticks stick infringed. Germany went for a layoff to the other side this time and the ball was put past the Goal Keeper to put Germany up 2-0.
The Black Sticks started the fourth quarter off in a positive fashion putting the German side under a lot of pressure as they searched for their first goal. After four minutes captain Blair Tarrant found himself open in the circle and slotted home a well set up goal leaving us with a tense finish to the match. Germany then restored their lead when was left open on the post and touched home a cross ball to put Germany up and what looked like the match sealing goal. That was the way the match finished as Germany sealed the 3-point win.
Vantage Black Sticks1 (Blair Tarrant 49’)
Germany2 (Marco Miltkau 32’, 56’, Niklas Wellen 40’)