Youthful Sparks keep Souths at bay
COMPETITION was fierce in the A1 hockey on the weekend as team vied for ideal finals positions.
A dominant and more experienced Souths were unable to claim any competition points when a youthful Sparks team bested them with 2-nil win in the A1 women’s hockey on Saturday.
Souths had the run of play for the majority of the game, but failed to create openings in front of goal, despite multiple corners, as the Sparks’ defence held strong.
The few chances Souths had in the first half fell by the wayside and it didn’t get better in the second when a shot on Sparks’ open goal went wide.
Sparks fought back against the competition leaders and managed to score when Rita Boyd found space on the left flank before crossing the ball for Bryanna Hall to put it past Souths’ stand-in keeper Sharon Goulstone.
Hall then finished the game off with a second goal right before full-time.
“Our defence won us the game,” Sparks coach Nathan Smith said.
“We scrabbled well in defence. They had a lot of attack and put us under a lot of pressure,” he said.
Smith made particular mention of goal keeper Hannah Curran for her solid performance.
“(They) turned up together and played together, and it showed in the back end,” he said.
Although the loss had been a disappointment, Souths coach Ruth Armitage said: “It’ll be a good wake-up call for our girls going into semi-finals.”
Midfielders Karen Graham and Eliza Armitage controlled the play for Souths while Jill Lowry showed speed and aggression in defence.
Sparks were unable to back up the win with a second on Saturday night as Meteors went home with the 1-nil scoreline to their advantage.
Smith was happy with his team and said enthusiasm levels had improved on recent weeks, but tired legs cost them in the second game.
In the men’s Extended League, Southside beat Meteors 4-nil while the undefeated Wanderers demolished a travelling 12-man Sparks squad 8-1.
Heading to half-time 5-nil down, Sparks regrouped for a stronger second half.
The Gladstone team held Wanderers at bay, and scored one of their own, until 10 minutes to go when the flood gates opened once more.
In the A1 local league Meteors got up on Souths 3-1.