The 2021 Lower South East Hockey Association season is ramping up with just six weeks to go before finals.
Teams battled for supremacy in round 12 last weekend at Blue Lake Sports Park with the top two Division 1 men sides showing how its done.
Tigers remains the team to beat, sitting pretty at the top of the ladder with not a single blemish so far.
However, a struggling Redbacks side showcased its improvement with a gritty effort under the Friday night lights.
Despite suffering heavy 9-0 and 7-0 defeats in the previous clashes this season, the Redbacks’ defence took the fight to the all-conquering Tigers line up.
The reigning premiers could only manage a 4-1 win this time as the sides fought a more closely contested game across the four quarters.
Aaron Menglar increased his lead of the competition’s goal-scoring table to 11, while he was joined by team mates Blake Mckee, Brady Cooper and Connor Bartlett.
The battle between West and Strikers was an even closer affair where the under-dogs prevailed.
Third-placed West showed no fear against second-placed Strikers as fans settled in for a four-quarter battle.
Connor Millhouse and Mathew Boylan battled hard for Strikers, but their efforts were not enough to stop West running over the top.
Two goals came off the stick of West’s Angus Aitken, while Darren Vine also chipped in to record a big 4-2 win.
West hopes it can sustain its success as the underdog against an undefeated Tigers outfit on Saturday night, while Strikers and Redbacks fight for victory on Sunday afternoon.
All four sides are evenly separated three games apart on the Division 1 men’s ladder.
A strong team performance pushed Redbacks over the line in the Division 1 women’s competition.
Facing a hungry Tigers outfit, the likes of Jemma Heraper, Stephanie Wightson and Lauren Manser gave the Redbacks the winning edge.
The 4-2 win consolidated the side’s stranglehold on second spot on the ladder.
Scores between West and Strikers were not available at the time of print, but the latter was expected to take home the premiership points boasting the superior record.
Tigers could be in for a tough time against West on Saturday afternoon, while Redbacks hope to continue their winning run against Strikers on Friday night.