Gerringong’s Grace Stewart and Ulladulla’s Kalindi Commerford have helped the Australian women’s development squad enjoy a successful first week of their current tour of Japan.
The pair are on tour in Hiroshima, having just wrapped up a three match friendly series against Coca-Cola Red Sparks.
The first game was a 2-all draw, with Australia scoring courtesy of Commerford and Meg Pearce.
The field goals from Commerford and Pearce came in hot and humid conditions as Australia fought back from being 2- nil down.
Their second game again a tied match, with the Australian women’s development squad again fighting their way back to draw the match 3-all against the Coca-Cola West Red Sparks.
This time, Australia’s three goals came courtesy of field goals from Laura Gray and Hayley Padget, while Sophie Taylor scored a penalty corner.
The final and deciding match saw Australia win the game and the series with a convincing 4-1 victory.
Australia started with confidence and applied significant pressure to the CCWRS defences with a string of attacks.
Australia had an early opportunity to score after a good build up on the right side but Stewart’s shot slid across the face of the goal.
However, it didn’t take long for Australia to post their first goal.
In the ninth minute, Lily Brazel took advantage of a CCWRS foot at the top of the 25 line and took the ball right through near to the goal face, enabling an easy tap in for Commerford.
The second term saw a more even contest with both sides creating opportunities.
Australia increased its lead in the last 30 seconds of the quarter - a long corner fed into Commerford, who was left unmarked and capitalised by slamming it into the backboard.
Australia conceded an early goal in the third quarter but were quick to respond.
After Stewart cut off a CCWRS pass in the midfield, she took the ball into the attacking circle and earned a penalty corner.
In a set play, Penny Squibb drove the ball hard at the left post where Stewart deflected the ball into the goal.
Australia took a 3-1 lead into the fourth quarter.
Australia played with confidence in the fourth quarter and pressed home their advantage when they scored in the second minute.
Murphy Allendorf showing deft touch, weaved through the CCWRS defence and popped the ball towards goal, as Stewart made a soft tap in to give Australia a 4-1 lead and the win.
The development squad now play a four game friendly series against the Japanese national side.
Women’s program national development squad 2017: Murphy Allendorf, Lily Brazel, Kalindi Commerford, Savannah Fitzpatrick, Kyra Flynn, Greta Hayes, Ambrosia Malone, Hayley Padget, Mikaela Patterson, Meg Pearce, Aleisha Power, Teagan Richards, Sam Snow, Penny Squibb and Grace Stewart.