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Three of Australian hockey’s Kookaburras are celebrating after winning the grand final of the Hockey India League (HIL) in Ranchi, India on February 23. 

Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD), Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW) and Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD) were all part of the Delhi Waveriders team that overcame Jaypee Punjab Warriors in a nail-biting shoot-out after the teams tied 3-3 at full time. 

The defeated Punjab Warriors squad contained seven Kookaburras stars and were coached by former national team coach Barry Dancer, who led the Aussie men to Olympic gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.  

Kookaburras captain Mark Knowles gave Jaypee Punjab Warriors an early lead but the Delhi Waveriders hit back to lead 2-1 at the break. Captained by Australian three-times Olympic medallist Jamie Dwyer, the Punjab Warriors struck twice more to lead 3-2 before Delhi Waveriders forced the shoot-out which ultimately won them the league’s top prize of 2.5 Crore (approximately $450,000). 

In a distinctly trans-Tasman feeling shoot-out, Australians and New Zealanders featured heavily. Gohdes was on target with Delhi’s first effort but his Kookaburras teammates Simon Orchard and Jamie Dwyer were unable to net their attempts for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Aussie Rob Hammond found the target for the Warriors, sandwiched in between strikes by Delhi’s Kiwi contingent Simon Child and Steve Edwards. 

Gohdes, White and Wilson join fellow Kookaburra Fergus Kavanagh as winners of the Hockey India League, following in the Western Australian’s footsteps after his victory with Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural HIL in 2013. Kavanagh missed the second edition of the tournament through injury.

There was disappointment for three other Australians – Eddie Ockenden, George Bazeley and former Kookaburra Luke Doerner – whose Uttar Pradesh Wizards lost the third place playoff to Ranchi Rhinos on a shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.

AUSTRALIANS IN THE HOCKEY INDIA LEAGUE 2014
Delhi Waveriders – Winners (Approx. $450,000 prize money)
Matt Gohdes (Rockhampton, QLD)
Tristan White (Wollongong, NSW)
Jason Wilson (Kingscliff, QLD)

Jaypee Punjab Warriors – Runners-up (Approx. $230,000 prize money)
Jamie Dwyer (Rockhampton, QLD)
Kieran Govers (Wollongong, NSW)
Rob Hammond (Townsville, QLD)
Simon Orchard (Maitland, NSW)
Chris Ciriello (Melbourne, VIC)
Mark Knowles (Rockhampton, QLD)
Jake Whetton (Brisbane, QLD)
Coach: Barry Dancer (Brisbane, QLD)

Uttar Pradesh Wizards – Fourth place
George Bazeley (Melbourne, VIC)
Eddie Ockenden (Hobart, Tasmania)
Luke Doerner* (Altona, VIC) 
*retired from int’l hockey Oct 2012

Dabur Mumbai Magicians – Fifth place
Matthew Butturini (Burringbar, NSW)
Joel Carroll (Darwin, NT)
Tim Deavin (Launceston, TAS)
Trent Mitton (Perth, WA)
Glenn Turner (Goulburn, NSW)

Kalinga Lancers – Sixth place
Kiel Brown (Toowoomba, QLD)
Russel Ford (Eltham, VIC)
Tristan Clemons (Bunbury, WA)
Glenn Simpson (Eltham, VIC)
Aran Zalewski (Margaret River, WA)

TOP AUSTRALIAN GOAL SCORERS
7 goals (#4 top scorer) Glenn Turner (Dabur Mumbai Magicians) 
3 goals (#13=) Jake Whetton (JPW)
3 goals (#13=) Jason Wilson (DWR)
2 goals (#18=) Chris Ciriello (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Simon Orchard (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Aran Zalewski (KL)
2 goals (#18=) Jamie Dwyer (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Kieran Govers (JPW)
2 goals (#18=) Mark Knowles (JPW)
1 goal (#39=) Matt Gohdes (DWR)
1 goal (#39=) Eddie Ockenden (UPW)
1 goal (#39=) Trent Mitton (DMM)
1 goal (#39=) Kiel Brown (KL)
1 goal (#39=) Tim Deavin (DMM)