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Grand Final Countdowns...2009

On Friday 11th September, at the Narellan Hockey Complex, our Under 15 Boys and Girls both won their respective Premierships.

The common thread to both games was that both teams had to win a Penalty Stroke play-off.

Our Under 15 Girls team were down 2-0 before a dogged fight-back saw them level at 2-2 midway through the 2nd half. The game went from end to end. Both teams had their chances to clinch the match, but determined defence denied both teams the winning goal. The match went to sudden death extra time and then strokes. After the first set of 5 strokes, the score was 4-4 and Sally-Ann had saved 3. It was now sudden death strokes! Sally-Ann saved her 4th! Wynona Rutten calmly stepped up and converted her stroke to win our first Under 15 Girls Premiership! Nicky King was also awarded the Under 15 Girls Best & Fairest Player from the Association. Congratulations to all girls as well as coaches Danielle Coburn and Andy Carter!

The Under 15 Juniors came into their match undefeated. They got to an early 1-0 lead courtesy of a Josh Gregory goal, but Wests scored to level at 1-1. The match went to sudden death extra time. There was a long delay while the umpires deliberated on a possible goal from a penalty corner. The match continued for the full 20 minutes of extra time and the score was still locked at 1-1. The Wests keeper had made many crucial saves during the match. The game went to Penalty Strokes. Chris Roberts saved all 5 shots at goal and we converted all of our 5 strokes. The final score was 6-1. Nicky King won her second premiership of the night. Congratulations to all players, coach Mick Roberts and manager Andrew Harris on your achievement!

The Under 17 game was moved to the Blue Field because of the extra time in the two Under 15 matches and didn't start until after 9pm. Wests got out to an early 2-0 lead. Our team scored via Jake Daniel to get back to 2-1, but Wests managed to keep us at bay and then score the final goal of the match near full time to run out 3-1 winners. Congratulations to our players on achieving the Minor Premiership and playing in the season decider. Our thanks go to Barry Ryan for taking over the coaching reins towards the end of the season and to Andrew Harris for managing the side.

On Saturday 12th September, Summer came early! Last night was all Ingleburn vs Wests. Today was all Ingleburn vs Macarthur Skylarks.

Unfortunately, there were no fairy tale endings today!

Our Under 11 Green team came up against Minor Premiers Macarthur Skylarks. They were down 2-0 early but Daniel O'Daly scored to make it 2-1 and it looked like the fight back was on.....but Skylarks skipped away with the match to win by 5-2. Brandon Thompson scored our 2nd goal. CJ had a very busy game in the goals and made some wonderful saves! This team is a very young one and can feel extremely proud of their achievements during the season! Our thanks go to Carl Roberts for coaching this team and Rosa Doherty for taking on her first role as Manager of a team within our club.

The Under 13 Girls game was a mirror image of the Major Semi Final. In the Semi Final we scored an early goal and held on to the lead. Today, it was Skylarks who scored the early goal and managed to repel all our attempts to score the equaliser to take us to extra time. It was an indication of the closeness of our 2 sides during the season. This team has come from not having a team 1 week before the season began, to forming a side with the help of many girls aged from 9 to 11 years of age, to winning the Minor Premiership and making a Grand Final! All concerned with this wonderful achievement can be very proud of their efforts. Our thanks go to Tracey Rutten for coaching the team and to Simon (the wig-man) Gayler for managing the team.

The Under 13 Junior Grand Final saw us play the Minor Premiers Macarthur Skylarks Kookaburras, the only team to have beaten us all season. The difference to the Major Semi Final was this time they had their 2 State players back as part of the team. It proved to make our task more difficult! Try as we did, we could not break their defence. After they scored 2 very good goals from Penalty Corners the premiership became a bit more difficult. We kept trying to find holes in their defence, but to no avail. The Bulldog spirit rose and we kept trying to find that elusive goal that might have triggered a comeback. The commitment shown by each and every player from this team during the season was reflected in this game. Our thanks go to Barry Ryan for the wonderful way he has guided this team (both as a coach and mentor) during the season. Barry returned to our club to coach our Under 13 side this season - we were honoured that he decided to do this! Matthew Harris has been Barry's Assistant Coach. Matt has been at every training session and game (except when State Team duties called) - Thank you Matt!. Mark Hamilton, in his first role as a Manager of a team, has done a wonderful job!

Sunday 13th September was truly an historic day for our club!

The day started with C Grade Ladies playing Harrington Park. They scored early, but we hit back quickly with a goal to Janelle Ollerenshaw. Di Poulton scored another of her specialty goals into the top corner of the net to get us to 2-1. Harrington Park equalised and the match went into sudden death extra time. Unfortunately for us, the wrong team scored and we had to be content with winning the Minor Premiership. You had a wonderful year Ladies - be proud of your achievements!

3rd Grade Old Dogs came up against a young and energetic Harrington Park team. The hot day was going to make things difficult. We were down 2-0 in a fairly short space of time. Midge scored a ripper to get us back to 2-1. 2 more goals from Harrington Park and we were looking at a 1-4 scoreline. Jacob Andaloro scored to send us to half-time 2-4. We were still well and truly in the game. The second half remained scoreless. We played a much better game, but were unable to score one to trigger a comeback. To come from 2008 wooden spooners to a Grand Final in the space of 1 season is something that all players can be proud of! Scotty Faint capped off a brilliant season by being awarded the Association Best & Fairest Player.

B Grade Ladies then played Wests. Mel Carter scored early in the game to set the tone of the match. As the game turned out, we were never headed from this point. Sheree Borg, in her 150th Club Game, scored to extend our lead to 2-0. Wests scored shortly after to bring it back to 2-1. On the stroke of half-time, we received a Penalty Corner. Dani de Plater scored to send us to the break 3-1. Things were looking promising! Wests scored to get back to 3-2. Dani Coburn immediately replied to extend our lead to 4-2. Wests scored again to get back to 4-3. Scoot scored one of her specialties from the left post to get us to 5-3. Not to be denied, Wests scored again to make it 5-4. Alex Furniss sealed the win with a cracking shot. The final score of 6-4 gave us our first B Grade Premiership since 1999 and coaches Matt Botfield and Aaron Owers a Premiership in their first season of coaching our Ladies. You should all feel extremely proud of your achievement - you have been building to this moment over the past 3 seasons!

Our Ladies also won the Club Championship for the first time ever!

The stage was set for 1st Grade. Wests were our opponents for the 3rd consecutive match. Everyone was unusually quiet in the shed before the game. I felt something special was about to happen. Benny Poulton scored mid-way through the first half to kick-start us to 1-0. Leigh scored a couple of minutes later via his trademark deflection to extend this to 2-0. Everything Wests threw at us, we overcame. It was a dominant display of controlled hockey. Our half time talk simply focused on not giving Wests a chance like we did in the Joint Competition Grand Final. Man-to-man marking was repeatedly mentioned. When Casey scored after a string of brilliant passes in the first couple of minutes of the second half, I dared to dream....when Josh Poulton picked a ball from Deano and scored to make it 4-0....I shed a tear in anticipation...Wests scored to get back to 4-1 and I was jolted back into reality......Dave Carter was left unmarked on the 7 and scored from a Benny Poulton was 5-1....I shed my second tear....As the countdown to the final whistle began in earnest, players were wondering who the hell I was talking to on my was a player by the name of Les Gall. Les was our captain-coach when we won 1st Grade 25 years ago in 1984. I knew he would like to share the moment with us.....Andy Botfield scored with 45 seconds to go giving us the premiership we have been building towards for the past 3 seasons....scenes of jubilation (and tears of pride and joy from me) followed as the importance of the win began to sink in. A rousing rendition of "We Won" echoed around the fields from the shed! Josh Poulton capped off a memorable afternoon when he was named the Association's Best and Fairest Player for 1st Grade. Please read about the players who have been part of this achievement in the Men's 1st Grade Category.

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