Desperate fight ends in a gritty draw

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

A resilient Tigers scrapped their way to a vital point in a soggy round 13 Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A-grade contest against Spencer Park on Saturday afternoon.

Sitting at the foot of the table after 12 rounds, the Tigers were desperate to stay in touch with the fourth-placed Mt Barker and Park, and with only the bare 11 players they denied their opponents numerous times to forge a gritty draw.

Park dominated possession for much of the afternoon, despite the heavy rain that fell for most of the first half, but they failed to capitalise in the attacking circle.

Spencer Park's Emma Thompson looks for options.
Camera IconSpencer Park's Emma Thompson looks for options. Credit: Albany Advertiser

As it has for much of the season, the Tigers’ defence stood firm, with Charlotte Powis superb along with experienced partner in crime Renae Hordyk as they repelled Park time and time again.

Park earned two penalty corners in the opening 35 minutes, but in tough passing conditions they botched both attempts as the two sides entered the break at nil-all.

Early in the second half against the flow, the Tigers won a penalty corner of their own but that was smartly negated by their opponents.

Tigers’ Renae Hordyk.
Camera IconTigers’ Renae Hordyk. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Elsa Piggott, Emma Thompson and Annie Judd continued to drive their side into attack in the second half, but the absence of strikers Georgina Lilford (knee injury) and Rachael Goetze (unavailable) was clear to see.

Park had another two penalty corner chances, but Tigers goalkeeper Bonnie Crook was hardly called into action as Park struggled to get a meaningful shot on goal.

Despite their desperation to score in the final few minutes when the ball was locked in Park’s half of the pitch, it mattered little as the match ended in a dour 0-0 draw.

Charlotte Powis and Hordyk led the way for Tigers, while Bec Nairn and Georgie Powis were also strong contributors.

The point helps Tigers in their fight for a berth in the finals.

Krysten York played well in defence for Park, while Judd, Thompson and Piggott worked tirelessly and their side was also buoyed by the return of Chloe Westerberg.

In the other women’s A-grade match played on Friday night, ladder-leaders Manypeaks skipped nine points clear at the top of the table with a 3-0 win over Mt Barker.

Courtney Robinson scored a brace and Maddison Scade also found the back of the net as they proved too strong for the home side.

In the men’s A-grade competition, Mt Barker suffered their second loss of the season, again at the hands of Peaks.

Kieran Howie and Tim Pyle both scored to cancel out the efforts of Mt Barker’s Harry Barbour as Peaks, led by Tim Metcalfe and Riley Scott, finished 2-1 winners.

Sam Brown had a day out for Park in the other round 13 match, scoring four goals in his side’s 4-2 win over the Tigers.

Jack Dawson, Karel Cronje and Niven Brown were terrific for Park, while State representatives Harry Keymer and Xander Burcham each put a goal away for the Tigers.

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