Black Sticks down China

Stacey Michelsen, of New Zealand, controls the ball as she is pursued by Jinrong Zhang, of China,...
Stacey Michelsen, of New Zealand, controls the ball as she is pursued by Jinrong Zhang, of China, during a Women's FIH Pro League match at the Ng Puna Wai stadium in Christchurch yesterday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
The Black Sticks have finished off their three games at Christchurch's Ng Puna Wai stadium in style, beating the China Women 2-0 in a match that was looking like going down to the wire until an Olivia Merry stroke sealed the result with 3 minutes to go.

The win takes the Black Sticks Women to six points in the FIH Pro League.

After a hotly contested first half,

the Black Sticks started the second in the best way possible after Merry was left unmarked in the circle and put the ball past the Chinese goalkeeper.

A few minutes later they went close again after Stacey Michelsen found an open Kelsey Smith, but her shot went flying past the far post to keep China in the battle.

Olivia Shannon then had another breakaway, but was forced to take the shot from a wide angle, and this time the ball went past the other post.

The Black Sticks then turned China over on the edge of the circle and had a great scoring opportunity. The China goalkeeper was up to the shot, and kept the score at 1-0 going into the fourth quarter.

China looked to play positive hockey at the beginning of the fourth quarter and

after both teams had several opportunities, it was Merry who broke Chinese hearts.

Sam Charlton fed a fantastic ball to Stacey Michelsen, who threw a ball down the line to Olivia Shannon as she drove along the baseline and earned the team a penalty corner.

Off the corner the Black Sticks earned a stroke after a China player stopped the ball on the line with her body.

Merry then stepped up for the stroke and put the ball in the back of the net.

China kept its goalkeeper off the field hoping to find a goal to get itself back into the match, but to no avail.

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