Kookaburras in seventh heaven with Commonwealth Games hockey gold

The victorious Australian team  celebrates its seventh consecutive men’s hockey gold in Birmingham on Monday.

The victorious Australian team celebrates its seventh consecutive men’s hockey gold in Birmingham on Monday. Photo: Getty

Australia’s Kookaburras have won a seventh consecutive Commonwealth Games gold to catapult leader Eddie Ockenden into rare hockey air.

Monday night’s 7-0 annihilation of India was a fourth title for Birmingham flag bearer Ockenden, drawing the modest champion level with Kookaburras legend Mark Knowles on the Commonwealth medal tally.

A potentially testing examination between the Tokyo Olympic silver and bronze medallists quickly became a celebration of Australia’s hockey entertainers on the Games’ final day.

They exploded out of their semi-final slumber – a 3-2 defeat of England on Saturday being a rare vulnerable moment – to score five first-half goals and all but order team staff to place the champagne on ice.

It was an emphatic reminder of their Commonwealth dominance – they’re now 41-1 since the sport entered in 1998 – and brilliance as one of the country’s most underrated teams.

The quality on show was best summed up by Australia’s second goal.

Daniel Beale showed dexterity to pluck possession from an Indian stick on the edge of Australia’s defensive circle.

Seconds later he’d received the ball back 70 metres downfield from an outrageous, no-look Josh Belz pass weighted to bypass three Indian sticks.

Beale ripped the ball to Flynn Ogilvie, with Nathan Ephraums finishing the brilliant passage with a simple tap in.

It was hockey at its best and India, despite the incredible hand-eye co-ordination of goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, was simply no match.

Blake Govers then had two drag flicks repelled – the second a brilliant stick save from Sreejesh.

The problem for India was that he had already scored one.

Jeremy Hayward, Govers’ partner in dragflicking crime, next did his best to penetrate the Indian defences.

He managed to make a dent, Jacob Anderson picking off the scraps for a third goal, before Tom Wichkham’s deflection from Tim Brand’s slap at goal nutmegged the helpless Sreejesh.

Even straight-faced coach Colin Batch did a little dance in celebration when Anderson slid a fifth goal home with two minutes to play in the first half.

In a sign of their ruthless mindset, Matt Dawson showed no regard for his own safety to smother an Indian shot early in the third quarter.

It was party time minutes later when Ephraums’ audacious backstick deflection found the back of the box. Ogilvie made it 7-0 with 14 minutes still to play.


Blake Govers and Jacob Anderson enjoy Australia’s third goal against India on Monday night. Photo: Getty

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.