Lo­cal pair de­liver valu­able per­for­mances for Di­a­monds

Albany Advertiser - - SPORT - Cameron New­bold

Im­pres­sive per­for­mances from Tam­bellup’s Penny Squibb and South Stir­ling’s Kathryn Slat­tery have the WA Di­a­monds in con­tention to reach the semi­fi­nals of the 2017 Women’s Aus­tralian Hockey League in Perth.

The WA Di­a­monds won their first two matches of the tour­na­ment against the Can­berra Strik­ers and the NT Pearls be­fore los­ing to the Queens­land Scorchers on Sun­day af­ter­noon which sets up a must-win clash against New Zealand this af­ter­noon.

A win in their fi­nal pool match would en­sure a semi­fi­nal berth as the Di­a­monds chase their first grand fi­nal berth in four years.

Squibb has been bril­liant so far for the Di­a­monds, play­ing a solid role in de­fence but scor­ing reg­u­larly in her side’s penalty cor­ner bat­tery.

The 24-year-old was the com­peti- tion’s lead­ing goal scorer af­ter Sun­day’s matches which in­cluded a hat-trick in the 4-2 come­back win over the Strik­ers last Thurs­day.

The Strik­ers led 2-0 be­fore Squibb stepped up to score three penalty cor­ner con­ver­sions to guide the Di­a­monds to vic­tory.

In the 5-0 blitz of the Pearls, Squibb was again in the thick of the ac­tion scor­ing from a penalty cor­ner in the third quar­ter.

Hock­ey­roos striker Slat­tery fin­ished with a dou­ble in the win, firstly from a penalty cor­ner in the open­ing term and then a smart field goal in the third which was a minute be­fore Squibb put the re­sult be­yond doubt.

Squibb gave the Di­a­monds an early lead from a set piece against the Scorchers but the home State trailed 3-1 by three-quar­ter-time.

Slat­tery scored from a penalty cor­ner on the verge of full time but it was not enough as the Di­a­monds went down 4-2.

Speak­ing af­ter the loss, Slat­tery said her team was ready for the chal­lenge of New Zealand.

“The way the re­sults are go­ing (the next game) is ba­si­cally go­ing to be a fi­nal to go into the ac­tual fi­nals,” she said.

“We’ve watched New Zealand play against Queens­land so we’ve done a bit of scout­ing there.

“They’re a bit of an un­pre­dictable team, they’re quite young and in­ex­pe­ri­enced but as they’ve showed against ACT they can put a pretty good game out there on the pitch.”

The match starts at 3pm to­day.

Pic­tures:Sharon Smith

WA Di­a­monds’ Kathryn Slat­tery goes on the at­tack against the Queens­land Scorchers.

WA Di­a­monds’ Penny Squibb in ac­tion dur­ing the AHL tour­na­ment.

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