Hockey heavyweight clash

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The most anticipated game of the fourth Lower South East Hockey Association round was the heavyweight battle of Tigers and West in the Division 1 men’s competition on Sunday afternoon.

The first quarter was a bit messy from both sides as they looked to settle in, with Tigers having much of the play but not able to get any clear shots on goal.

A short corner was injected by Connor Grant and trapped by Greg Doll, but the shot by Lochie Nisbet went wide, stopping what was the best chance up until that point for either team.

Aaron Mengler then went on a terrific run down the right side, beating a number of defenders before crossing the ball to Jarryd Burston, who was very pleased to put it into the back of the net for the first goal.

In the second quarter Tigers had another short corner, and while the drag flick from Mengler was saved by the keeper, Doll was there to pick up the scraps and make it 2-0.

Tigers had a lot of the attack but West made them pay on the counter, as a cracking ball in to the circle by David Vine was touched in by Angus Aiken to get West on the board.

Tigers responded however with a well-deserved backstick goal to Nisbet, whose work rate was second to none in the third quarter.

Brady Cooper rounded things out with a lovely backstick goal to finish the match with a 4-1 victory to Tigers.

Strikers took on Tigers 2 on Saturday afternoon and the latter hit the opener, thanks to Juke Rogers.

Strikers stuck back almost immediately though through promising youngster Cameron Taylor.

Despite the goals, there were many exceptional saves by Tiger’s goalie Harry Robinson to keep the score line tight in a face paced game, but once Strikers regained their focus on structure and possession, they were able to crack the game open.

Jordan Millhouse and Dean McCarthy both struck twice, while Caleb Lindsay also scored to ice the hard-fought game.

A close game was expected between two rebuilding teams in the Division 1 men’s competition between Cavaliers and Redbacks.

The game set off at a frantic pace with Redbacks attacking hard early through Nash Lobley, but great defensive work from Cavaliers led by Stefan Unger kept Redbacks scoreless.

This was broken when Cavaliers Mark Bowyer set up two goals to send Cavaliers into the half time break up 2-0.

Redbacks continued to pressure Cavaliers with Aaron Barry hitting up his forward targets with accuracy, with them unlucky not to convert.

Cavaliers withstood the pressure and used their extra fitness to push out in the final quarter through some great goals by Richmond Clayfield to walk away with a 5-0 win.

It was a cold winter night of hockey on Saturday when last year’s premiers West took on a young Strikers side.

The first quarter was hard fought by both teams putting pressure on both defences until a great counterattack proved too good for West.

West then decided to lift and started attacking the goals but could not get it past the goalie Kate Fabian.

Eventually a good counterattack down the right side of the pitch with a good switch across to the left found the stick of Ashlea Dunn who slotted West its first goal.

The second quarter was a back and forth affair with West looking solid but Strikers holding on with great defence and counter attacks which kept West on their toes.

Once again Ashlea Dunn powered down through the left-hand side of the pitch and gathered another ball in the circle and hit the ball straight through the legs of an unlucky Fabian.

In the third quarter West started to take hold and look a lot more dominant with Mercedes Theobald and Dana Jones working extremely well through the midfield to keep the ball penetrating the circle.

Jones did a great solo effort out wide down the right side and into the circle putting a great cross across the goals.

Paige Clark gladly picked up the play off the goalie and sent it into the goals.

West continued its dominance in the final term and played strongly as a team keeping the ball in the attacking half.

However, Chloe Boylan from Strikers had other ideas using her great tackling and skills to keep West at bay.

Eventually Dana Jones went sparked another run through the middle of the field to have a free shot in the circle on her back stick which sailed past the goalie for a much deserved goal.

Both teams played to a high standard but West took match honours, running out 4-1 victors.

In the other Division 1 women’s match Redbacks were too good for Tigers, continuing their dominance in the rivalry so far this season.

Tigers were able to score twice in the last quarter through Ashleigh Doll and Brooke Marcus, but it was consolation only after Redbacks had already put five on the board through Steph Wighton (2), Lauren Manser (1), Anna Mitchell (1) and Lexi Merret (1).

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