TOTAL Creations claimed back-to-back Griffith Hockey Association titles with a 1-0 win over Easts Flavourtech in a spiteful grand final on Saturday at West End Oval.
Neil Burke scored the winning goal midway through the second half, capping off a fantastic team move with an assured finish to clinch grand final glory.
Skipper Mark McLean said the Total Creations team was delighted to have held off an often-wasteful Easts outfit.
“It was champagne showers everywhere after the game,” he laughed.
“After the year we’ve had it was great to finish off in this way.
“We thought we copped the raw end of the stick on a few occasions this year with the association letting one of our players defect to another team midway through the season, but it’s good that we proved again that we are number one.”
In a tense contest, defence was the key in the first half for both sides – but the complexion of the match changed completely at half-time, when a scuffle broke out and one player from each team was red carded.
With both teams reduced to 12 men, there was more space to exploit – and Total Creations’ Jamie Piva exploited it best, revelling in the opportunity as he earned best on ground honours.
“It opened up for our quicker blokes with the send-offs and Jamie was one of those – he was fantastic,” McLean said.
IN the women’s division, the heartbreak continued for the Victoria Hotel as they went down in yet another grand final, this time to Easts Flavourtech.
But in a small mercy for the Vic, Saturday’s decider didn’t go to penalties – it was settled in regulation time as Easts claimed a 3-0 victory.
The match started evenly but Easts took control midway through the first half, scoring all three goals – through Lauren Marshall, Melinda Bonetti and Amie Salvestro – before the break. The second half was a back-and-forth affair as the Vic tried to break their way back into the game and Easts searched for the opportunity to put them away.
But the damage was already done as Easts claimed their maiden premiership, fuelled by a best on ground performance from Marshall.
“Lauren was everywhere, she scored quite early but controlled the midfield for us really well,” captain Kate Crosato said.
“The Vic played pretty well and we’ve got a bit of sympathy for them in losing another grand final, but we’re quite proud of ourselves. It’s a pretty good feeling.”