CHHA. Tigers and Irishtown will meet in Circular Head Hockey Association’s Grand Final in both divisions this Saturday following the weekend’s Preliminary Final results.
The Division Two encounter began sluggishly as both Tigers and Robins edged into the game dubiously and careful to avoid lapses in defence.
However Robins’ Mel Porteus soon took control of the game, directing the play with Fran Cooke to place Tigers’ defence under pressure.
Tigers’ Mel Haywood and Melissa Stokes effectively soaked up the onslaught to release the pressure back into the midfield.
Opportunities at either end of the turf were difficult to convert until a lethal turnover in Robins’ defence allowed Tigers’ Camilla Woolley to slip past the keeper and secure the scoreboard advantage leading into the break.
The ball was locked in the midfield during the opening minutes of the second half but it was Robins who again broke the stronghold with Connie Perry and Elyse Poke working against the Tigers’ defence with their pace and effective ball movement.
Woolley and Gina Jackson began to enforce themselves on the game to ease the defensive pressure.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Tigers earned a penalty corner for Woolley to convert and seal the game 2-0, ending Robins’ season and securing their Grand Final appearance.
During Div Three proceedings, Irishtown and Robins displayed a fast paced and skilful show competing for premiership standings.
Jandi Smith controlled Robins’ game ably supported by Kayla Keogh who disadvantaged Irishtown after earning a penalty corner to be converted by Jackie Poke just six minutes into proceedings.
Irishtown’s Tiffany Poke and Emma Spinks battled hard but were unable to unsettle the keeper allowing Robins to lead by one goal at the main break.
Following the restart, both sides lurched into attack as Tiffany Poke and Annabel Dixon claimed two goals for Irishtown through penalty corner conversions.
Strong defence at either end held the game at 2-1 in Irishtown’s favour, allowing them to secure the premiership place.
Irishtown and Tigers will meet in this weekend’s Grand Final clash as Div Three take off at 10am followed by Div Two at 12pm.