Shoalhaven Heads girls down Burrawang in hockey grand final

The victors: (back row from left): Peta Griffin (goalkeeper), Natalie Springall, Rebecca Gray, Melinda Cliffton, Carol Bond (coach), Michelle Nellestein, Elle Price (team captain), Belinda Blackmore, Tracey Casinelli. (Front row) April Hudson, Rosemary (Raz) Morgan, Monique Hanel, Jamie Griffin. Absent: Joanna Faulkner, Joanne Webber.

The victors: (back row from left): Peta Griffin (goalkeeper), Natalie Springall, Rebecca Gray, Melinda Cliffton, Carol Bond (coach), Michelle Nellestein, Elle Price (team captain), Belinda Blackmore, Tracey Casinelli. (Front row) April Hudson, Rosemary (Raz) Morgan, Monique Hanel, Jamie Griffin. Absent: Joanna Faulkner, Joanne Webber.

The Shoalhaven Heads women’s hockey team won their B Grade Women’s Grand Final on Saturday, September 17.

Shoalhaven Heads went into the semi-finals ranked third, and were the first Shoalhaven Heads hockey team to make it through to the semi-finals in five years.

During the first semi-final against All Sorts, the Shoalhaven Heads goal keeper suffered an injury during warm-ups and the team had to quickly replace her.

  Despite this, the team pulled together and dominated the match, winning 4-0.  Next, the team came up against St Georges Basin in the second semi-final.

This was a well-fought battle by all and the team was again victorious with a score of 1-0, taking them to the Grand Final.

The Grand Final was played on a hot and dry afternoon against Burrawang – the favourites for the season.  Burrawang’s attack was relentless throughout the match and they dominated possession.

  Numerous short corners were given to them and there were many opportunities for Burrawang to score.  The match was a nail-biter from start to finish for the team, coach, and supporters. 

However, Shoalhaven Heads were brilliant in their defence, with everyone contributing with determination, tenacity and excellent team work.  Goal keeper, Peta, also made several incredible saves.

Attacking play from Shoalhaven Heads was tentative at the start of the first half; however, confidence grew after a very close miss 20 minutes into play. 

In the final minutes of the first half, Shoalhaven Heads attacked quickly as a team which caught Burrawang by surprise, and April scored a goal from a rebounded shot off the goal keeper.

Shoalhaven Heads remained confident in the second half and their defence was fierce and impenetrable.  In the final seconds, Burrawang was awarded a short corner, and their final shot rebounded off the top of the goal post.

The team were thrilled to finish off the season with such a rewarding win, particularly coach Carol, who couldn’t be more proud of the team for their effort and determination in the finals series.  Best and Fairest for the Women’s B Grade division went to the well-deserving Raz (Rosemary Morgan).

A great deal of friendly banter was exchanged after the match with Burrawang, who demanded a rematch next year. 

They branded the Shoalhaven Heads girls with face paint of Burrawang colours, and forced the coach, goal keeper and team captain to drink champagne out of the goal keeper’s sneaker.

Many thanks to our sponsors and to the team committee – Elle, Michelle, and Tracey – who worked tirelessly to fund-raise and organise the team all season.

Shoalhaven Heads Hockey Club includes a Men’s A Grade Team and a Women’s B Grade Team.  If you are interested in playing next year, please contact Elle Price at headshockey@hotmail.com.  The 2017 Hockey Season will run from April through to September, and all new players are welcome.

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