Wanderers charge to title
EVEN the loss of captain and star playmaker Jodie Dwyer could not prevent Wanderers from taking out the grand final in the A1 Women's hockey.
Dwyer had been a key player for Wanderers in the exciting final at Kalka Shades but during the second half she was left dazed after an accidental clash with Southside's Andrea Farrow.
Wanderers won the match 2-1 but Southside did apply a lot of pressure, bringing Wanderers keeper Kate Payne into the play and forcing her into making crucial saves.
Wanderers settled first and had it not been for the excellence of Southside goalkeeper Emily Hunt might well have had a big lead.
Hunt pulled off a string of good saves with the one that stopped Brooke Miller especially notable.
About midway through the half, the Southside defence finally cracked.
Some dazzling stick-work from Dwyer earned her a short corner which resulted in Lisa Rossow drilling a shot that even Hunt could not stop.
As the siren was about to blow for half-time Hunt again made a save that stopped the speedy Megan Lewis in her tracks.
Early in the second spell, after losing Dwyer, Wanderers scored a field goal with its leading scorer for the season, Miller, hitting home.
That should have been the end of the game for Southside, but with Farrow now enjoying more space, it began to create openings.
After wasting a number of short corners, Southside finally got one right.
Ashleigh Doble delivered the ball to Farrow who set it up well for Jessica Brennan to slam home.
In the dying minutes Doble forced her way through the Wanderers' defence but could not get the ball past Payne who spread herself well to slide the ball to safety.
Wanderers coach Clark McKay felt his team was better than the 2-1 scoreline.
“I thought we dominated apart from the last 20 minutes,” he said.
“For the first 10 minutes they never got into our half.”
McKay said the umpires' nomination for “player of the final” went to Rossow but he felt there were others who could also have claimed the title.
Coach Tracy Doble said her Southside team could be proud of their contribution.
“All the young ones stepped up,” she said.
Doble picked defender Jordan Edwards as her player of the match and said the experience gained would make Southside even stronger in 2010.
For the Wanderers club it was a hat-trick of grand final wins with a goal from Kylie Weatherhead giving the A2 Women the win over Park Avenue Brothers.
PA also had three wins in A2 Men's and both A3 grades, while unfortunately for Southside, it suffered losses in both A1 grades and in A2 Men's.