DIVISION 1 MEN – TIGERS d WEST – penalty shootout – (2-2 at end of extra time)
THE Lower South East Hockey Association saved the best until last when Tigers and West met in the Division 1 men’s grand final on Saturday night.
Scores were locked on two-all after two periods of overtime, which forced the match into a penalty shootout.
Tigers prevailed 4-2 in the shootout to claim the premiership in an impressive contest.
West converted a penalty corner on the quarter-time siren through Jon Allcock to lead at the first break.
Tigers looked dangerous in the second term and West goalie Roy Hutchesson was forced to work hard.
Eventually Tigers scored the equaliser when Ben Weir slotted a goal before half time.
Tigers started the second half well and league leading scorer Aaron Mengler hit the scoreboard with a back-stick shot.
From there Tigers enjoyed a period of sustained attack, but West youngster Aiden Cameron repelled the onslaught at fullback.
Late in the game West had a break down the field and forced a penalty stroke, which Darren Vine converted to draw the game at full time.
The first period of overtime was end-to-end hockey, but other than a short corner to West there were no clear chances at goal.
The second period also went without score, sending the match to one-on-ones.
The first two shots were made by Tigers’ Greg Doll and West’s David Vine.
Lochie Nisbet then appeared to have his shot blocked, but slotted what looked like an impossible shot from the baseline to score for Tigers.
West’s Jason Steen had his shot saved by Thompson to hand Tigers the advantage.
Willie Little stepped up for Tigers and converted his goal and when West’s Nathan Taylor fired wide a Tigers victory was close.
However, man of the match Mengler had his shot denied and Allcock scored for West to bring it to 3-2 heading in to the final shooters.
The experienced Luke Hunter made no mistake for Tigers to complete the victory and hand his team the premiership cup.
DIVISION 1 WOMEN – WEST 1 d REDBACKS 0
REDBACKS came into its Division 1 women’s hockey grand final as favourite, having finished minor premiers and beating West convincingly in the first semi-final.
However, West was determined to do better and at the final siren claimed a hard-fought 1-0 victory.
The first half of the game was a tight affair, with several Redbacks penalty corners unconverted.
West worked hard to create opportunities, but the score was at nil-all at half time.
Early in the third quarter a solo run by West’s Georgia Clarke resulted in two consecutive penalty corners.
While no goal was scored, it was during the third penalty corner West broke the deadlock, with a back-stick goal from veteran Angela Broad.
Redbacks responded to force its own penalty corner, but could not convert.
Early in the final quarter Redbacks appeared to have levelled the scores, but Anna Mitchell’s first shot off the penalty corner was deemed too high.
As the clock wound down, Redbacks continued to press, but despite several opportunities – including a high hit from Mitchell which was saved by West goalie Maddi Clark – no goal eventuated.
The result handed West its third consecutive premiership, with Sarah Mutch also named best on ground for the game.