Men’s Hockey: Australia 5 defeat Great Britain 4
Goals: Australia – Jack Elliott (10m PC / 68 m FG), Cameron Joyce (13m PC), Tom Craig (23m FG), Will Gilmour (Golden Goal – 72m FG)
Great Britain – Ross Gilham-Jones (38m FG), Phil Roper (47m PC), Andrew Bull (57m PS), Sam Fench (64m PC)
Australia has come from the brink of defeat to reverse a late one goal deficit and beat Great Britain in epic men’s hockey gold medal match on Sunday afternoon.
Jay Stacey’s side let a three goal lead slip late in the second half but produced an equaliser and a golden goal winner to claim the Australian Youth Olympic Festival gold medal.
The Burra’s defence was tested in the opening minutes as Great Britain controlled possession and drew three penalty corners in a row.
All three were well taken care of by the Australian defence in particular the third opportunity which goalkeeper Edward Chittleborough deflected onto the post and out of danger.
Australia was rewarded for their hard work with a goal of their own when Jack Elliott swept home a perfectly executed penalty corner in the 10th minute.
Great Britain came within millimetres of immediately replying after the restart as the ball slowly trickled toward the line off a Great Britain stick but it was cleared well by the Australian defence.
A fantastic passage of play from end to end by the Burra’s earned them a penalty corner in the 12th minute and captain, Cameron Joyce stood up and delivered his team another goal with a sweetly timed strike.
The alarm bells were ringing for Great Britain when Tom Craig was at the right place at the right time and cracked a deflected save by Great Britain goalkeeper Harry Gibson into the top right corner for a 3-0 lead.
The visitors dominated the final five minutes of the half and won another penalty corner, but again Chittleborough made brilliant save this time diving across the face of goal.
Australia took a very handy 3-0 lead into the break but Great Britain were far from out of it as found their first goal just three minutes into the second half thanks to an extremely powerful strike from Ross Gilham-Jones in the 38th minute.
Great Britain was awarded a penalty corner in the 47th minute which they converted to cut the deficit back to one thanks to a perfectly placed shot from Phil Roper.
All of a sudden it was the Burra’s that were under immense pressure, Great Britain grew in confidence as they won another penalty corner in the 53rd minute and Australia were reduced to 10 men when Casey Hammond was shown a yellow card for a push.
They were soon made to pay for the numerical difference on the field when Great Britain were awarded a penalty stroke in the 57th minute, captain Andrew Bull stepped out to the spot slotted it home to put Great Britain back on equal terms at 3-3.
Another six minutes later and penalty corner was won by Great Britain which was converted by Sam French to give them the lead for the first time for the match 4-3.
The gold medal looked destined to heading back with Great Britain until Australia’s goal scoring machine Elliott scored another field goal that got the Burra’s level at 4-4.
The Burra’s almost stole it in regulation time when they awarded a penalty corner in the dying seconds, the shot was well blocked by Great Britain keeper Gibson and onto golden it went.
Just two minutes into golden goal the Burra’s snatched victory and the gold medal when Will Gilmour produced a brilliant individual effort beating several Great Britain defenders and firing off a powerful strike from close range for the winner.
“Fantastic, fantastic, it’s a dream come true,” golden goal hero Will Gilmour said after delivering to match winner for the Burra’s. “It was tough, we turned the ball over in our attacking 25 and then we managed to put it in but it was pretty nerve wracking.” “I thought we could always fight back and we did.”
Great Britain captain Andrew Bull put on a brave face after the game but as still really pleased with the team’s achievement during the festival.
“Sometimes that’s the way sport goes, there was a couple of mistakes and we let it slip but all credit to the lads we are proud to achieve what we have achieved,” Bull said following the game. “It’s disappointing we didn’t win in the end but the experience we’ve got out of it as a team has been really positive.”
Over on the other side of the hockey centre Malaysia and USA played out a dazzling bronze medal match with USA winning in a penalty shoot-out.
Malaysia trailed 3-1 at half time but managed to turn their fortunes around when Aminuddin Zain scored a final minute penalty corner to draw level at 4-4 and force extra time.
15 minutes of extra time passed and the two nations could not be separated so on to penalties they went.
The very tense shoot-out and bronze medal went the way of the USA 3-2 and an incredible hockey tournament drew to a close.
Hockey Australia / Written by BEAU GREENWAY