Hockey favourites walk a tightrope
By CRAIG ROSScraigr@gladstoneobserver.com.au
PREMIERSHIP favourites Meteors will have to again walk the finals tightrope after losing 1-0 to Souths in Saturday's A1 women's semi-final clash at Rigby Park.
After a result which even Souths coach and goal-scorer Ruth Armitage described as a surprise, Meteors will now battle Sparks this weekend for a spot in the decider.
Meteors' attack was more expansive than their opponents' throughout the match but they were constantly repelled by Souths' defence led by Kristy McNally and Lisa Green.
Souths can also thank goalkeeper Stephanie Leggo for their victory after she pulled off a series of superb saves.
Armitage, who said cracking the winning shot in the 57th minute 'felt great' said her side's recent good form had vindicated a youth policy set in place at the season start.
'That's been our approach the whole year, to give confidence and the ball to our juniors and now they've got the confidence and strength to be A grade players,' Armitage said.
Among those who stood out for Souths were juniors Kaitlyn McMahon and Symone Jenkinson while Armitage was in good form along with Leanne Steele.
'Leanne shut down (Meteors') Jill Mathison which was a great effort because Jill's their star player,' Armitage said.
Mathison still looked dangerous at times, as did team-mates Carol Pericles, Amanda Rose and Bianca Nathan but none could find a way through Souths' scrambling defence.
Due to a technical error, the A1 men's match report will appear in tomorrow's Observer.