Debut Delight For Rupert As Shipperley Makes His Mark For GB

Rupert Shipperley netted on his debut as Great Britain held world No 1 Australia in their opening FIH Pro League game in Sydney.

The Wales ace came off the bench in the thrilling 4-4 draw after Britain had led 4-2 going into the final quarter.

Jacob Draper also celebrated his 50th cap for GB and Wales as Britain began the Olympic year with a battling display to earn a point.

The hosts won the shootout 3-1 in blisteringly hot conditions.

Wales duo Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson also appeared as subs as the women’s team lost 2-1 to Australia after conceding with just 13 seconds left.

In the men’s match, Eddie Ockenden giving the Kookaburras the lead but GB quickly replied through Ashley Jackson.

Leah Wilkinson saw GB women narrowly lose in Australia

Tom Wickham converted a neat team move to give Australia the half-time lead but Zach Wallecs’s stunner brought the visitors level.

Wales stalwart Shipperley then grabbed his first goal in GB colours as he looks to make his case to be on the plane to Tokyo this summer.

Liam Ansell extended the lead with Australia forced into an 11th outfielder for the final 10 minutes, making it pay through Aran Zalewski and Trent Mitton who swept home the leveller with just a minute left.

Wallace said: “It was a tough game, tough opposition and coming our here in 40C. So getting out here and putting in a good performance obviously we’re very happy with, but we’re gutted not to get all three points.

“The goal was great. I picked it up, started running and the next thing I knew I was in the circle. It was a great feeling to score it though.

“We’re going to come back harder tomorrow to secure all three points.”

Australia 4 (2)
Ockenden (19’, PC); Wickham (20’, FG); Zalewski (56’, PC); Mitton (59’, FG)

Great Britain 4 (1)
Jackson (20’, PC); Wallace (31’, FG); Shipperley (44’, FG); Ansell (45’, FG)

Starting XI: Taylor, Forsyth, Martin, Roper, Dixon (C), Jackson, Ansell, Gibson (GK), Waller, Gall, Sanford
Subs (Used): Shipperley, Griffiths, Sloan, Sorsby, Wallace, Draper
Subs (Unused): Pinner, Ames, Gleghorne, Calnan

Sarah Robertson gave Australia the lead in the women’s match before Steph Kershaw equalised shortly before half-time.

Both teams had chances to win in the closing stages but it was Grace Stewart who struck to give the hosts all three points.

Australia 2 (1)
Kershaw (27’, FG); Stewart (60’, FG)

Great Britain 1 (1)
Robertson (18’, FG)

Starting XI: Hinch (GK), Unsworth, Toman, Martin, Townsend, Robertson, Pearne-Webb (C), Neal, McCallin, Owsley, Petter
Subs (Used): Howard, Jones, Balsdon, Watson, Wilkinson
Subs (Unused): Rayer, Ansley, Hunter, Heesh, Burge

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