The Vantage Black Sticks Women came up trumps at The National Hockey Centre on Sunday night against Japan with a 2-1 win, securing the winning goal late on in the piece. 

The game began with a tussle back and forth which continued from the first quarter well into the second as the teams tried to break the stalemate. However the teams remained nil all at the end of the second quarter into half time. 

Momentum started to build in the third quarter as the Black Sticks were awarded three penalty corners, the third of which was dispatched by Fran Davies, giving the Kiwis the lead.

The fourth quarter began with some strong defence from the Vantage Black Sticks as they fought to keep their 1-0 lead over Japan.

However, a repeat of yesterday was on the cards when Japan began to put up a fight and the visiting team managed to even the playing field with their first goal at four minutes left in the final quarter. 

Almost immediately the Black Sticks struck back with Rose Tynan scoring a powerful reverse shot just thirty seconds later to regain the lead.

Aggression built between the two teams for the remaining minutes left of the game as Japan began their counterattack. 

A close call at two minutes left had the Black Sticks working hard to hold the Japanese off but New Zealand managed to clutch the win, maintaining the final score of 2-1. 

The Black Sticks Women now begin preparation for the FIH Nations Cup in Spain beginning June 3.


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