Debutante is best in Aussies women's polocrosse win

VICTORY: The Australian women's team (back, from left) Suzette Thomas, Lizzie Reid, Lucy Grills, Farann Mathie, (front) April Leggett, Sandra Weston and Laura Donnelly is one up in the Test series.
VICTORY: The Australian women's team (back, from left) Suzette Thomas, Lizzie Reid, Lucy Grills, Farann Mathie, (front) April Leggett, Sandra Weston and Laura Donnelly is one up in the Test series. Gerard Walsh

POLOCROSSE: Debutante Laura Donnelly from Macksville in New South Wales was judged best player on the field in the Australia 25-14 victory against South Africa in the First Test for the women at Morgan Park on Thursday night.

Australia led 3-1 at the end of the first chukka and was never headed.

The crucial chukka was the sixth when Australia won 7-0 to increase the lead to 21-11. Lizzie Reid shot brilliantly in the chukka, including two from a wide angle.

Leigh Higgs gave the Australian crowd something a little bit different when she threw a goal with an overhead throw late in the game. The overhead throw is used a lot more in South Africa than Australia.

One of the plays of the match was when Australian No.3 Lucy Grills picked up a loose ball near the goalline and headed downfield to pass to Farann Mathie for an outstanding Australian goal.

Player of the Match Donnelly said her play was a big scrappy early but once her nerves settled, said everything went well.

"I love playing at night and the crowd was awesome,” she said.

"It was a great effort by the whole team.”

She was high in praise of her horse Rendition from Dartbrook Stock Horses, owned by Quirindi (NSW) player Ray Davis.

After the game, Australian coach Paul McGrath said it was a great team effort by the Australians.

"Our two debutants, Laura Donnelly and Farann Mathie, both played brilliantly,” he said.

"The South African will come back hard now they have had a game on their horses.”

The Friday night women's game is at 7.30pm and will follow the men's game.

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