Queensland’s Rebecca Greiner made history on the opening day of the 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) season.
On the first day of the new rule innovations introduced for the 2018 AHL, the goals flowed providing excitement for supporters too.
NSW and Queensland shared the spoils in front of 2,000 fans at Sydney Olympic Park, with the Arrows knocking off last year’s runners-up Scorchers 5-3.
Queensland’s Rebecca Greiner scored the first-ever PumpPlay goal in the Scorchers loss, with her late goal worth double during her side’s five-minute play at the end of the fourth quarter.
In front of another strong home crowd in Hobart, the Canberra Strikers won 3-0 over the Tassie Van Demons, before the Tigers got the supporters excited with a 5-1 win over the Canberra Lakers.
NSW Arrows 5 (Smith 4', 4', Watterson 38', Stewart 50', 50') Queensland Scorchers 3 (Kenny 27', Greiner 58' PP), Sydney
Arrows captain Emily Smith opened the scoring early for NSW with a field goal in the second minute of play. Under this year’s new rules, Smith then got the chance to convert her goal and slotted it past Queensland keeper Hannah Astbury putting the Arrows up 2-0.
Towards the end of the first period, NSW Arrows goalkeeper Jocelyn Bartram kept NSW in the lead with some vital saves.
The second quarter was a tight affair with NSW controlling most of play before Queensland managed to break-through right before half-time after Jodie Kenny coolly put away a penalty stroke to give the Scorchers a sniff at the break.
The Arrows came out firing after half-time with a close chance from Grace Stewart going wayward before Jess Watterson blasted a shot from outside the circle to put the Arrows up 3-1 at three-quarter time.
Stewart sent the Sydney crowd wild when she sneaked around the Scorchers keeper with 10 minutes to go before nailing her conversion.
Queensland managed to pull back two goals late in the final term during their five-minute PumpPlay when Rebecca Greiner took advantage of the two-goal play.
Tassie Van Demons 0 Canberra Strikers 3 (Evans 12', M. Bone 55', 56'), Hobart
New Hockeyroo Naomi Evans’ 12th minute goal split the sides, until a late Meredith Bone converted field goal sealed the fine first-up win.
Evans, who debuted for Australia in Japan last month, maintained her recent run of success with a field goal to open the scoring.
The 26-year-old Goulburn product was unable to make it 2-0 with the resulting conversion, under pressure from Tassie keeper Ruby-Rose Haywood.
Tassie had two players, Ashleigh Arthur and captain Sarah McCambridge, green carded in the second quarter, although the Strikers couldn’t capitalise.
Bone, who is the sister of Hockeyroo and Strikers teammate Eddie, sealed the win with a converted field goal in the 55th minute.