Mt Barker prevail over Spencer Park in tense final

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Mt Barker has withstood a late rally from Spencer Park to win through to the preliminary final, after a 2-1 triumph in the elimination first semifinal of the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A-grade competition on Saturday evening in Mt Barker.

After joining the A-grade competition this season, Mt Barker scored a goal in each half of the cut-throat final but had to survive some nervy moments late in the second half.

Jess McPartland scored from a goal mouth scramble to give Mt Barker a 1-0 lead at the break and in the second minute of the last half again it was McPartland who found the back of the net.

Causing a turnover in her forward half McPartland ran the ball into the attacking circle and beat keeper Erin Trotter, who had come off her line, to put her side two goals ahead.

Park began to control possession more as the second half wore on and as a result created plenty of chances to score.

A fourth penalty corner of the last half finally netted a goal for Park as Annie Judd’s shot found the back of the net with 81/2 minutes to play.

Park had the ball locked in their forward half for the majority of the final five minutes but they could not conjure a meaningful shot as Mt Barker prevailed.

Laura Archer and Amy Sandilands were both impressive for the winners while Rachael Goetze, playing in defence, and Emma Thompson were terrific for Park.

Manypeaks will face Mt Barker in the preliminary final after they lost the second semifinal to North Albany 3-1 in Albany on the same day.

Carina Cronje scored twice and fellow youngster Claire Gonzales also found the back of the net. Redbacks booked a fifth straight grand final appearance as a result.

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