TASSIE Van Demons made a promising start in their opening pool match of the Australian Hockey League, showing plenty of spirit before eventually going down 2-0 to competition powerhouse Western Australia on Friday.
Coach Irene Carr said her team had made a pleasing start to the competition.
‘‘I thought we took the game right up to the WA line-up and matched it with them for the most part of the game,’’ she said.
‘‘We created a number of scoring opportunities. We outnumbered them in the penalty corner attack count 5-3 but were unable to finish.’’
With nine players aged 20 or under, the Van Demons boast one of the youngest line-ups in the competition.
Carr said she was impressed with the way her younger charges had taken the fight up to a Western Australia team featuring a number of national representatives.
‘‘I thought a number of our debutantes played quite well,’’ she said.
‘‘Eliza Westland, who played in defence, had a pretty good match and I thought Maddy Hinton played as a striker, I thought her intensity and her running were quite good.’’
After some near misses on goal, Carr said capitalising on attacking opportunities would be a focus in upcoming games.
‘‘In the end I suppose the difference was that they were slightly more polished in their attacking circle.
‘‘Holly Bonde, our goalkeeper, played pretty well. She made a number of really good saves and the score could have been a little bit more had Holly not made as many as she did.’’
In the men’s league, defending champions the Tassie Tigers bounced back from a Friday loss to record a convincing victory against South Australia.
Angus Bolton opened the scoring in the eighth minute before two final quarter goals in two minutes from Kurt Mackey put the Tigers in a commanding position.
Both sides traded goals with five minutes to go before Tasmania ran out 4-1 winners to go 1-1 in their pool.
Earlier, a goal from Olympic gold medallist and reigning player of the league Eddie Ockenden was not enough to triumph over 2013 champions Queensland, with the Blades completing a 2-1 win.