Intriguing A-grade hockey finals series looms

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Manypeaks and Craig Gambrell will be hoping to win their final on Saturday.
Camera IconManypeaks and Craig Gambrell will be hoping to win their final on Saturday. Credit: Laurie Benson

Senior finals in the Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association will start this weekend with both of last year’s A-grade premiers, and an unusual format will also be used.

Both of the 2018 premiers, Mt Barker and Spencer Park in the men’s and women’s top competitions respectively, have missed out on playing finals this year. The men’s A-grade has plenty of intrigue around its finals series.

Bizarrely the top two teams play off in a semifinal on Saturday, while the third-placed team have a week off.

Manypeaks shaded Spencer Park-Tigers by just over two points to finish on top of the men’s ladder but instead of gaining direct entry into the grand final, Peaks will play in the first week of finals.

Peaks face Spencer Park-Tigers in the semifinal on Saturday at 4.30pm, with the winner progressing to the grand final and the loser using their double chance to front up to next week’s preliminary final against a fresh North Albany side.

Spencer Park-Tigers were comfortable 5-0 winners when they last faced Peaks back in round 13.

After finishing third in the women’s A-grade standings, Mt Barker will host an elimination final on Saturday night as they clash with Vikings for a preliminary final spot.

Vikings, in their maiden A-grade season, have been highly competitive despite winning just three games.

Mt Barker won their most recent encounter 2-0 and come into the finals series with two wins in their past four games.

The elimination final in Mt Barker will start at 6pm on Saturday.

The second semifinal is set down for 2.30pm in Albany, with Manypeaks and North Albany squaring off.

A grand final berth awaits the winner as Peaks chase their first premiership since 2015, while the Redbacks are chasing a shot at redemption through another appearance in the most important game of the year.

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