Great Southern Grammar fall short against Como Secondary College in thrilling Buchanan Cup final

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Como Secondary College captain Saysha Pillay and her Great Southern Grammar counterpart Abby O'Neill with the Buchanan Cup.
Camera IconComo Secondary College captain Saysha Pillay and her Great Southern Grammar counterpart Abby O'Neill with the Buchanan Cup. Credit: Laurie Benson

Como Secondary College won a thrilling Buchanan Cup final over Great Southern Grammar in chilly conditions at Albany’s hockey turf on Monday afternoon.

The cup is named after former Hockeyroos captain and Olympic gold medallist Sharon Buchanan, and was first presented in 1995.

The top two secondary school girls’ hockey teams face off in the cup final, run by School Sport WA, and for the third successive year it was Como and Grammar doing battle.

Como's Sarah Van Der Klaushorst gets the ball past Grammar's Abby O'Neill.
Camera IconComo's Sarah Van Der Klaushorst gets the ball past Grammar's Abby O'Neill. Credit: Laurie Benson

With the cancellation of school country week, teams were invited to nominate for a carnival in Perth in August where Como and Grammar topped their respective pools to earn a berth in the cup final.

Year 12 mock exams meant the match was played later than normal but about 100 spectators braved the wet and windy conditions, including a hail shower, to watch the two talented sides clash for the silverware.

Grammar's Amy Sandilands gets around Como's Georgia Hiskins.
Camera IconGrammar's Amy Sandilands gets around Como's Georgia Hiskins. Credit: Laurie Benson

Como came out aggressively in the first quarter with several attacking plays but the Grammar defence held firm, thwarting opportunities and not allowing Como any clean shots at goal.

Nearing half time Como opened the scoring when an initial save from Grammar goalie Kira Pearce and then a clash of bodies allowed Como’s Jaeda Ritchie to squeeze the ball through her pads to dribble over the line.

Great Southern Grammar pre-game.
Camera IconGreat Southern Grammar pre-game. Credit: Laurie Benson

Grammar had several breakaway opportunities in the third quarter and eventually the tight Como defence made an error, as Carie Ball stole the ball from a defender and slotted it past the keeper to level scores.

In the final quarter Como captain Saysha Pillay scored an excellent tomahawk rebound goal from a penalty corner to make it 2-1 with eight minutes remaining.

Como's Amberley Abbott with possession.
Camera IconComo's Amberley Abbott with possession. Credit: Laurie Benson

Through the good work of Emma Wilson, Grammar won a penalty stroke when she was brought down illegally in the circle with just three minutes to play but the home team could not convert, Como hanging on 2-1 in an even and hard fought game.

Pillay, who is a member of the Perth Thundersticks squad, was awarded the Ashleigh Nelson Medal as best on ground voted by the umpires.

Como's Saysha Pillay won the Ashleigh Nelson Medal.
Camera IconComo's Saysha Pillay won the Ashleigh Nelson Medal. Credit: Laurie Benson

Grammar’s best players were Tara Cunningham, Pearce, Abby O’Neil and Isabelle Plowman.

The victory is the third successive Buchanan Cup triumph for Como.

Como's Sarah Van Der Klaushorst looks for options.
Camera IconComo's Sarah Van Der Klaushorst looks for options. Credit: Laurie Benson
Como's Isabella Dixon gets clear of Grammar's Emma Wilson.
Camera IconComo's Isabella Dixon gets clear of Grammar's Emma Wilson. Credit: Laurie Benson
Como get set to take their penalty corner.
Camera IconComo get set to take their penalty corner. Credit: Laurie Benson
Grammar look to defend the Como penalty corner.
Camera IconGrammar look to defend the Como penalty corner. Credit: Laurie Benson

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