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Silver for Vantage Black Sticks in Auckland

Published on Sunday, 26 November 2017

Silver for Vantage Black Sticks in Auckland

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The Vantage Black Sticks have finished runners up at the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final after being defeated 3-0 by Netherlands in the gold medal match.

The world number one ranked Dutch were held well by the Kiwis early in the match but gained momentum as time progressed.

After a fiercely fought opening quarter, Netherlands stamped their mark with two goals in quick succession to open a 2-0 lead at halftime.

Kelly Jonker found the back of the net from close range in the 24th minute before Maria Verschoor added her side’s second just one minute later thanks to a crashing reverse stick shot into the corner.

Laurien Leurink delivered another goal for the visitors early in the third quarter and while the Black Sticks continued to fight they weren’t able to find a way past the defence of Netherlands, which did not concede a single goal at the tournament.

During the medal presentations, defender Stacey Michelsen took away top honours with the Best Player award while team-mate Sally Rutherford was named Best Goalkeeper.

Head coach Mark Hager paid credit to Netherlands after the match saying they were too strong.

“I thought we played well for the first 10 minutes and fell away after that. We conceded two goals in the second quarter and both were a bit soft,” he said.

“They hurt us through the midfield so plenty of lessons learned - we need to start again and be better next time. We’ve got to match the intensity for the whole game and not just bits and pieces.

“The Dutch were better tonight, they didn’t concede a goal all tournament so you’ve got to give them credit. They are a class act with a lot of depth in their team.”

In the bronze medal match, Korea held on for a 1-0 win over England thanks to an eighth minute Jongeun Kim penalty corner goal.

Full results, standings and information from the Sentinel Homes Hockey World League Final can be found on the FIH website www.fih.ch

VANTAGE BLACK STICKS: 0

NETHERLANDS: 3 (Kelly Jonker 24’, Maria Verschoor 25’, Laurien Leurink 32’)
Halftime: Netherlands 2-0

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