FOUR Australian Hockey League (AHL) quarter-final match-ups have been confirmed following a busy Saturday with six matches played in round three in Canberra, Brisbane and Perth.
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The AHL Finals will be played on the Gold Coast from 25-28 October, with the quarter-finals commencing on Thursday.
In the women’s competition, the Queensland Scorchers’ ruthless 15-nil victory in Brisbane over the Tassie Van Demons confirmed top spot in Pool A and a quarter-final meeting with NT Pearls.
The NT Pearls went down 5-1 to the WA Diamonds in Perth, securing WA third spot in the pool and NT fourth.
WA will play the NSW Arrows, featuring Gerringong’s Grace Stewart, in the quarter-finals, after NSW lost 2-nil to the Canberra Strikers, featuring Mollymook’s Kalindi Commerford, in a weather-affected match.
Commerford’s Canberra Strikers 2 (Middleton 28' PP) defeated Stewart’s NSW Arrows nil at Canberra
The NSW Arrows have slipped into second spot in Pool A ahead of the quarter-finals after a weather-affected 2-nil loss to the Canberra Strikers at the National Hockey Centre.
The Strikers win, though, wasn't enough to claim second spot, after Queensland won 15-nil later in the day to leapfrog both sides.
Saturday afternoon’s match was delayed 30 minutes following lightning and storms in Canberra before the hosts piled on the pressure with a series of penalty corners.
Eventually they broke through during their PumpPlay late in the first-half, when English recruit Beckie Middleton deflected home on the slide, with the goal worth double.
NSW mustered plenty of attacking threats but were unable to penetrate before the conditions worsened again with five minutes to play.
Play was suspended and eventually the match was called off, with Canberra declared 2-nil winners.
In the men’s competition, the Tassie Tigers’ 5-1 win over the Queensland Blades at Brisbane’s State Hockey Centre means they top Pool A and will play NT Stingers in the quarters.
The Stingers were beaten 10-3 by the WA Thundersticks at the Perth Hockey Stadium, with the result confirming WA will play NSW Waratahs in the quarters.
The NSW Waratahs were beaten 3-1 by the Canberra Lakers at the National Hockey Centre in Canberra.
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