NSW Pride Men’s team continued on its merry way and the Tassie Tigers won an 11-goal thriller in another dramatic weekend of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League.
The penultimate round of the season featured amazing comebacks, clinical displays and some interesting results that ended the finals aspirations of some teams and saw the top four in the men’s competition decided.
NSW Pride shot to the top of the standings with an emphatic 8-1 demolition of the Perth Thundersticks in Perth. Blake Govers continued his exceptional season with another hat-trick to take his goal tally to 12, while fellow Kookaburra Tim Brand also got in on the act with three goals of his own.
Ky Willott and Kookaburras defender Matthew Dawson rounded off the scoring for the Pride to set up a blockbuster final round showdown against the other undefeated team, the Brisbane Blaze, in Brisbane on Saturday. Amazingly, the Pride and Blaze have scored a combined 52 goals and conceded only 10 between them heading into Saturday’s highly anticipated encounter.
Despite the loss, the Perth Thundersticks are still a mathematical chance of reaching the top four, but they would need to beat the Tassie Tigers and bank on bottom placed Adelaide Fire toppling HC Melbourne in the final round to make it.
These results would have to go against form after Adelaide Fire slumped to a fifth straight defeat in a 6-4 loss to Canberra Chill, while a last quarter Eddie Ockenden surge saw the Tassie Tigers pip HC Melbourne 6-5 in Hobart.
Adelaide Fire enjoyed a dream start against the Chill as they went 4-0 up inside 10 minutes. But a double to Jamie Hawke and a goal from James Day brought it back to 4-3 at half time, before Garry Backhus struck and then Jake Staines completed the comeback with a last quarter brace to end the Chill’s season on a positive note.
The Tassie Tigers and HC Melbourne then produced a genuine thriller at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre which would have had hockey fans licking their lips in anticipation for finals.
The visitors looked on their way to a convincing victory when they held a 4-1 half time lead thanks to Nathan Ephraums’ opener and then a stunning second quarter hat-trick from in form Kookaburras forward Josh Simmonds.
That advantage stretched out to 5-1 when Simmonds scored his fourth three minutes into the third quarter to have HC Melbourne cruising, but the Tassie Tigers had other ideas.
When Sam McCambridge scored his second and then Jeremy Hayward pulled another one back less than a minute later, it was 5-3 with a quarter to play.
Enter Eddie Ockenden. The Tigers and Kookaburras captain struck a minute into the final period to cut the deficit to one before he rounded off one of the great comebacks with less than 90 seconds to go as he scored from open play and then converted the clutch subsequent one-on-one opportunity to send the home crowd into raptures.
The win secures Tassie’s top four spot, while despite the gut-wrenching loss, HC Melbourne only need to beat the Adelaide Fire at home on Sunday or rely on the Tigers beating the Perth Thundersticks next weekend, to ensure they will also feature in the finals.
Sultana Bran Hockey One 2019 Season – Round 6 Results
Adelaide Fire 4 (Fry 3’/4’, Farmilo 6’/6’)
Canberra Chill 6 (Hawke 24’/24’, Day 26’, Backhus 37’, J.Staines 52’/52’)
Saturday 26 October 2019
State Hockey Centre (SA)
Adelaide Fire Men’s team: 3.Lachlan Busiko, 6.Angus Fry, 9.Fred Gray, 11.Cameron Joyce (c), 15.Andy Leat, 18.Al Oliver, 19.Glyn Tamlin, 20.Isaac Farmilo, 22.Chris Wells, 23.Cameron White, 24.Zendana Hirotaka, 25.Watenabe Kota, 26.Liam Alexander, 29.Edward Chittleborough (GK)
Canberra Chill Men’s team: 2.Ben Staines, 4.James Day, 7.Kazuma Murata, 8.Daniel Conroy (c), 9.Jamie Hawke, 10.Owen Chivers, 11.Garry Backhus, 12.Jake Staines, 13.Manabu Yamashita, 17.Aaron Kershaw, 22.Jay MacDonald, 26.James Jewell, 27.Fukuda Kentaro, 30.Andrew Charter (GK)
Perth Thundersticks 1 (Harvie 50’)
NSW Pride 8 (Govers 5’/5’/25’, Willott 30’, Brand 36’/43’/43’, Dawson 45’)
Saturday 26 October 2019
Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University (WA)
Perth Thundersticks Men’s team: 4.Jake Harvie, 6.James Collins, 7.Tyler Lovell (GK), 8.Coby Green, 9.Dane Gavranich, 10.Tom Wickham, 15.Will Byas, 17.Aran Zalewski (c), 19.Daniel Robertson, 23.Matthew Fisher, 24.Alec Rasmussen, 25.Trent Mitton, 26.Brandon Gibbs, 27.Marshall Roberts
NSW Pride Men’s team: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 2.Craig Tom, 3.BJ Bruton (GK), 6.Matthew Dawson (c), 8.Nathanael Stewart, 12.Kurt Lovett, 13.Blake Govers, 19.Jack Hayes, 20.Ky Willott, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Ryan Proctor, 24.Dylan Martin, 28.Sam Gray, 29.Timothy Brand
Tassie Tigers 6 (McCambridge 21’/43’, Hayward 43’, Ockenden 46’/59’/59’)
HC Melbourne 5 (Ephraums 14’, Simmonds 23’/23’/30+’/33’)
Sunday 27 October 2019
Tasmanian Hockey Centre (TAS)
Tassie Tigers Men’s team: 4.Hayden Beltz, 6.Joshua Brooks, 11.Eddie Ockenden (c), 12.Sam McCulloch, 13.Joshua Beltz, 14.Jack Welch, 15.Kieron Arthur, 18.Grant Woodcock (GK), 19.Tim Deavin, 20.James Bourke, 21.Ben Read, 27.Gobindraj Gill, 29.Sam McCambridge, 32.Jeremy Hayward
HC Melbourne Men’s team: 1.Craig Marais, 2.Max Hendry, 3.Simon Borger, 5.Andrew Philpott, 7.Will Gilmour, 9.Nathan Ephraums, 10.Russell Ford (c), 13.Jayshaan Randhawa, 14.Jonathan Bretherton, 15.Josh Simmonds, 18.Johan Durst (GK), 21.Jake Sherren, 25.Aaron Kleinschmidt, 29.Oscar Wookey