Hockey grand finals on repeat

Elated: The Magpies celebrate back-to-back grand final wins at the hockey on Saturday after defeating Pambula 3-1. Picture: Ben Smyth.
Elated: The Magpies celebrate back-to-back grand final wins at the hockey on Saturday after defeating Pambula 3-1. Picture: Ben Smyth.

Lightning has struck twice in the Sapphire Coast Hockey grand finals. 

Both senior games were repeats of last year’s grand final and the result swung the same way as the Elders women and Magpies men’s team claimed the spoils. 

In the men’s match, it was the third year running the two teams have met in the season decider, with the men in black again claiming bragging rights with a strong performance right across the field to win 3-1 over Pambula. 

Magpies captain Stewart Smith said he was very happy with the way his team-mates played, particularly in the first 20 minutes to set the scene.

“It’s been a very strong men’s competition this year,” Smith said.

“We’ve trained hard all season and the boys played really well today.”

After claiming the premiership in 2016, Stewart said it was fantastic to be able to stitch up another title on the trot. 

“[Winning] back to back titles is very hard to do in any sport – I’m very proud of them,” he said. 

In the A grade combined women’s final, the United ladies clashed with Elders for the second year running, but again it was Elders scooping the premiership with a comprehensive 5-0 win. 

Elders midfielder Joccoaa Rogers said United were on the offensive from the outset, but Elders proved too strong in defence to get on top. 

“They had us on the backfoot in the first 10 minutes, it really took us a while to get up into their end, but our strength and consistency in the midfield helped us a lot,” Rogers said. 

“After that they still had a few runaways and corner efforts, but our girls shut them down pretty well.”

Rogers commended Jacinta Griffin and Michelle Bartlett in the backlines, while also praising Tiarne Pointon, who was named woman of the match. 

Sophie Parbery was another solid player for the winners, while Emma Rogers had a good showing in the middle to keep the pinks in their attacking end of play. 

Rogers also coaches the Elders B grade, who claimed a “nail-biting” 2-1 win in extra time.

She commended both teams and said it became an anxious wait for the result as play rallied into extra time.  

“Both teams played really well and a close game is what you want to see,” she said.