Top teams face off in hockey clash

The third round of the Lower South East Hockey Association season took place at Blue Lake Sports Park last weekend.

The action started off in rainy conditions on Friday night with a match between Division 2 Cavaliers and Division 1 Tigers.

It was a tight tussle between both teams across the first 10 minutes, but then Tigers were quick to take over the game with fast passing into their attacking circle.

This positive movement created their first goal after a deflection by Greg Doll.

It did not take long to open the Cavaliers defence again and score another goal off the stick of youngster Patrick Robinson, who played his position well on the wing.

In quick succession Lochie Nisbett also converted for Tigers to ensure the game was well and truly in his team’s hands.

Tigers again scored three more goals from Aaron Mengler, Robinson and Doll in the second term, but the Cavaliers defence held strong only allowing one goal through in the third quarter.

Cavaliers finally scored their first goal in the fourth and final term through Daniel Harradine with much celebration after he returned after many seasons away from hockey.

It was a nice lift for Cavaliers after a tough game with many backing up from the Division 3 men.

Tigers finished the game with another goal to another youngster Ryan Larson, with the Tigers claiming the win 9-1.

Saturday’s game saw last year’s Division 1 premiers West face last year’s Division 2 premiers Tigers.

With several dominant years in Division 2, Tigers came into round 3 with experience on their side and hopes of an upset, but were without key play maker Mick Carne due to COVID.

Both Tigers and West were looking to get some momentum after beginning the season with a win and a loss each.

The game started in West’s favour as in the initial minutes Gavin Robertson scored a low drag flick.

As the game went on, Tigers utilised their experience from Craig Nisbet and Ben McCourt to gain multiple short corner attempts.

The many attempts were all stopped by the West defence and goal keeper Roy Hutchesson.

Tigers looked dangerous up forward with Connor Bartlett and Blake McKee trying their best to set up Tigers for a momentum change.

However, West also looked dangerous when going forward, using Jaali Brennan and Brock Ward on the halfbackline to push the play forward.

The game finished at 4-0 in West’s favour, with two goals coming from Angus Aitken and one each for Buzz Brennan and Robertson.

Strikers and Redbacks Division 1 men played on Sunday and the first quarter had a good balance of possession between each side.

Dale Tucker was the first to score for Strikers, taking his chance in a quarter where they squandered many chances on goals.

In the second quarter Strikers started making space and getting their passing game going with Jordan Millhouse finding the net twice.

Legs were always going to be an issue for an undermanned Redbacks side with no bench and this proved to be the case, as Strikers ran away with the game in the second half.

Dean McCarthy converted a drag flick off a short corner and Caleb Lindsey also scored.

Young up and coming goalie Devlin Harpham stepped into the goals for Redbacks following an injury and did a great job for his side.

Jason McKinnon scored a consolation goal for Redbacks right at the end of the game with a turnover, but on the whole Strikers had too many options and ran out winners 9-1.

On Sunday Redbacks and Strikers Division 1 Women took to the field and played in four seasons of weather.

Right from the starting whistle, Strikers linked up well and showed great resilience throughout the match.

High quality hockey was played by both teams with Redbacks coming out on top and claiming the win 8-1.

Both teams were without a goal in the first quarter and looked hungry to strike. Redbacks striker Stephanie Wighton snatched up a well-executed goal and promptly followed with another two later in the match.

Redbacks’ experienced player Lauren Manser showed great skill, scoring two for the team and setting up many other opportunities on goal for the Redbacks girls.

Imogen Horbury played a strong game and scored Strikers their single goal for the match.

Zara Blackwell continued to attack hard during the game and put one in the back of the net for Redbacks, while Isabelle Di Tiommaso hit the scoreboard in the second quarter, executing a flawless stroke and glided the ball directly into the backboard, while Jemma Heraper scored from the left post in the final quarter.

It was the finishing touch to the complete performance which shows Redbacks are a team to watch.

In the other Division 1 women’s match West had a goal avalanche in the second half after they were locked at nil-all against rivals Tigers.

Perennial highest goal scorer Angela Broad continued her domination with three goals, with Gemma Ballintyne chipping in with two and Holly Bastian rounding out the scoring.

Kaitlyn Nibet, Bianca Taylor and Deb Hicks worked hard in the backline for Tigers but were overrun in the third quarter when West scored four to put the match out of reach.

It was a disappointing finish to a promising start for the Tiger’s side who will look to improve with a four-quarter performance next week.

In the Division 2 women Tigers kept their perfect start to the season intact with a 3-1 victory over rivals Cavaliers.

The first goal went Tigers’ way when Teena McKee released Dani Wighton with a perfectly weighted pass, Wighton making no mistake slotting it past the keeper for the opener.

Cavaliers responded though, taking advantage of a defensive error by Tigers to level things up at the main break with an opportunistic goal by Chelsea Koch.

The third quarter was decisive for Tigers, with its second goal a well-executed short corner finished superbly by youngster Clare Hopgood who has had a strong start to her maiden Division 2 season.

A third goal followed shortly after when McKee placed the goal virtually over the line but was kept out somehow by keeper Andrea Zeven, only for Ollie Abblitt to finish it off.

Cavaliers kept pushing hard through midfielders Lauren and Keeley Lunsmann, but in the end the great defensive work of Petra Trench, Shailee Grant and Marika Hart ensured the score remained 3-1 Tigers way.

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