Hockey’s bizarre scheduling slight at Games
THE Hockeyroos have progressed to the Commonwealth Games final despite being treated with bewildering contempt by tournament organisers.
The Hockeyroos beat India 1-0 to advance to the final against great rivals New Zealand following a Grace Stewart goal from a clever pull shot in the third quarter.
Last night's game represented the fifth consecutive clean sheet by goal-keeper Rachel Lynch who has been the wall that no opposition team has been able to crack.
Australia will attempt to win their fifth Commonwealth women's hockey gold on Saturday.
But the lament of their progress is to the legion of young fans who follow them would not have seen it because it was past their bedtime.
It was the Hockeyroos fourth start later than 9pm and the match finished at the ludicrously late time of 10.39pm.
Hockey rarely gets chance to shine and, despite excellent live crowds, this tournament on home soil has sadly failed to fully exploit a precious opportunity, particularly given both the men's and women's teams are unbeaten.
The Commonwealth and Olympic Games are their big tickets and to program late night games is a major blow to any prospects they may have had to grow the game by getting it on prime time television.
In a further blow to Australian hockey, the men's team, the Kookaburras, play England tonight in their semi-final from 9.45pm.
It is nothing less than a crude insult to team flag-bearer Mark Knowles who is retiring after this tournament.