Peaks face Park for grand final berth

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold

Manypeaks’ hopes of extending their dominant premiership run in the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association men’s A-grade competition will go on the line this Saturday in a spicy preliminary final against an in-form Spencer Park outfit.

Having won the past five men’s A-grade premierships, Peaks were beaten 4-0 by title fancies Mt Barker in last week’s second semifinal and now face Park in the cut-throat preliminary final.

Park have mixed their form this season but in recent weeks have hit top form, beating Peaks 4-1 in the final game of the regular season and then producing a clinical display in last Saturday’s elimination first semifinal to down North Albany 5-2.

Young stars James Gonzales and Karel Cronje, who finished with a hat-trick in the first final, have been vital parts of Park hitting top form.

The two sides have split their four meetings this season, Park also winning 2-1 in round 10 while Peaks scored victories in round 15 (5-2) and round 5 (6-2). The match is also a replay of last year’s epic grand final in which Peaks won 2-1 in extra time.

Having won eight of the past nine premierships, Peaks will be out to create more history if they can progress to next week’s decider as they chase a sixth successive title. With a premiership drought stretching back to 2007, Park will be out to limit the impact of brothers David and Tim Pyle to boost their hopes of a grand final berth.

In the women’s A-grade preliminary final, Peaks will start favourites against Mt Barker, having won three of their four clashes this season.

Mt Barker, however, won their most recent encounter 3-1 back in round 18 as they chase a maiden grand final berth.

The women’s A-grade preliminary final will start at 3.15pm and the men’s clash at 4.45pm, both matches in Albany. On Saturday night the LGSHA awards night will be held.

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