The SmokeFree WA Thundersticks have pulled off an upset in the Australian Hockey League (AHL) Grand Final for the second year in a row, defeating the highly fancied OAMPS Queensland Blades in the Grand Final in
The victory is WA's 8th national title, the most of any AHL team, while this is the 6th Grand Final within eight years where these two teams have met.
Having not lost a game throughout the Finals Week and sitting on top of the points table for the majority of the tournament, the Blades entered the match as favorites.
However with the knowledge that they defeated
This was evident from the beginning of the match where WA attacked the
After a lot of persistence their efforts paid off, with Jonathon Charlesworth drawing a penalty corner at the 11 minute mark, which was converted by team-mate Brent Dancer.
Finding themselves down on the scoreboard
WA remained disciplined, and where other teams struggled to penetrate the
Eventually this pressure mounted, with Trent Mitton converting a well worked goal from the WA team to once again regain the lead into the half time break.
The high intensity of the match continued well into the second half, with
Although WA continued to attack, as the game wore on it was
Credit must go to WA goalkeeper Ross Meadows who stopped several
Kookaburra and WA defender Fergus Kavanagh said although
“We showed last year what can happen on Gran Final day. More importantly, we drew confidence from our recent victories over
Brent Livermore was named player of the tournament, while WA's Graeme Begbie was named player of the Finals.
Australian Hockey League Grand Final:
Goals: WA – Dancer 11m PC, Mitton 22m FG; QLD – Wilson 17m FG
1. SmokeFree WA Thundersticks
3. NSW Waratahs
4. Victorian Vikings
5. Tassie Tigers
6. NT Stingers
7. Southern Hotshots
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