Confident Tigers topple Redbacks

Tigers came out confidently in the Lower South East Hockey Association Division 1 women’s game against an undermanned Redbacks unit on the weekend. 

The Redbacks were restricted to just 10 players for the big contest, but this did not stop the first quarter from being an even affair.

Tigers got the jump scoring first through Ashleigh Doll, however the Redbacks were pushing hard into their attack through midfielders Anna Mitchell and Shae Delaney. 

After quarter time, Redbacks had regrouped and were linking together some strong passes but were unable to penetrate the goals. 

Nell Eastough was a rock in the back line and put on a number of solid tackles while Tigers enjoyed a number of quick turnovers through Olivia Turner and Brooke Marcus, with the latter’s superb stick skills leading to the second goal tucked away by Jo Hopgood.

Marcus herself also scored in what was a standout performance by her.

After half time, Redbacks was able to peg back a goal through a solid strike from Steph Wighton.

The side also had a number of other opportunities to score through gaining some control across the half line.  

Things became interesting following a penalty corner conversion by Zara Blackwell, but unfortunately for Redbacks they ran out of legs in the last quarter.

Billie Jones and Latisha Adams added to Tigers’ goal tally to run away with a convincing 5-2 victory.

It was a significant moment of the season being Tigers’ first top two scalp of the season.

Sitting atop the Division 1 women’s ladder, West went into this game favourites over Riddoch Strikers.

From the outset, West looked to put attacking pressure on the Strikers’ defence, but keeper Kate Fabian was on her usual game, preventing West from scoring on many occasions.

It was not until late in the first term that a loose ball made its way across the face of goals for Lilly Delaland to open the scoring and give West some reward.

While West seemed to control the play, several Strikers players kept the pressure on.

Chloe Boylan continues to impress and seemed to be everywhere with continued pressure at the goal face.

Full back Phoebe Tregenza niggled the West attack and Deb Smith used her strong hitting to clear on numerous occasions, while high striker Tayla England used her speed to get behind the West defence for most of the game.

But West remained strong as keeper Chrissy Jachman was equal to the task, while assisting in the defence were Tori Grosse, Mercedes Theobold, Dana Jones and Sarah Much, who continued to find ways into the attacking circle.

Eventually, it was Kenselely breaking the game open for West again and the smart working Ash Dunn completed the 4-0 win.

Captain Dana Jones was one of the big players behind West’s win and said everything clicked at the end.

“The last quarter we finally got together and we worked well as a team to get four goals into the back of the net,” she said.

In the Division 1 men’s match between Strikers and Tigers (2), the yellow and black team pushed their opponents all the way in a closely contested encounter.

Tigers scored a goal with a clean hit from a short corner, giving them the early lead.

Then both sides had scoring opportunities with Strikers having more of the running, but Tigers used its team structure well to keep the Strikers forwards at bay.

Evergreen Craig Nisbet was a key contributor for Tigers, as he showed great composure and skill to absorb the pressure coming from Strikers.

Strikers were awarded a penalty stroke however and just before half time Jordan Millhouse evened up the scoreline.

With the game up for grabs both teams came out hard after the main break and Strikers made their move.

A short corner in the third quarter was the decisive moment as Dean McCarthy executed a clean drag flick for the winning goal.

Tigers could not find an answer following the killer blow and lost 2-1.

The game of the round saw Tigers and West square off for the four points in the Division 1 men’s contest.

The West squad was boosted with the inclusion of Julian Smith and Aiden Cameron with the latter recently being selected in the Under 18 Australian futures team.

As expected, this game was physical and played at a fast pace.

West attacked on numerous occasions in the first term through the efforts of Cameron, while David Vine positioned himself up forward early in the game to pressure Tigers’ defence.

Luke Hunter had the task against Cameron and was digging deep, assisted by Aaron Mengler to combat the relentless pressure being applied from the West attack.

West scored their first just before the breakthrough Nathan Taylor pouncing on a loose ball through the goal face.

The breakthrough looked far too easy considering the toughness of the game to that stage. Mengler worked overtime through the middle to create many scoring opportunities for the Tigers attack but the West pressure countered attack after attack.

Just before half time West scored again from a short corner to take the lead into the big break

But the game changed when play resumed with momentum swinging towards Tigers.

It was not long before Tigers scored the first and converted again, squaring the game in the blink of an eye.

This proved a wake up call for the West attack and shortly after Zephan “Buzz” Brennan slotted one past the keeper putting West back in the lead at three quarter time.

The pace of the game slowed in the final term as the West bench rotation proved a key given Tigers played the game without support following an early injury to Jarrod Burston.

Able to run the game out, Gavin Robertson scored the winner with the 4-2 scoreline giving West a welcome boost ahead of finals.

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