Peaks in unfamiliar territory after loss

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Manypeaks' Luke Ray and North Albany's Toby Tweddle contest possession.
Camera IconManypeaks' Luke Ray and North Albany's Toby Tweddle contest possession. Credit: Laurie Benson

For only the second time in the past decade, Manypeaks won’t feature in the men’s A-grade grand final after they were ousted by a determined North Albany side in Saturday afternoon’s preliminary final.

The most dominant side in LGSHA’s recent history, Peaks have won 11 men’s A-grade titles since 2000, including eight of the past 11 grand finals.

In 2017 Mt Barker played Spencer Park in the decider and Peaks will be missing from the 2019 records after they fell to Redbacks in a pulsating final that yielded only one goal.

After an entertaining first half, a penalty corner set up the sole goal of the game as experienced Redback Toby Tweddle bobbed up to break the deadlock.

Manypeaks' Keiran Howie gets clear of North Albany's Andrew Hannig.
Camera IconManypeaks' Keiran Howie gets clear of North Albany's Andrew Hannig. Credit: Laurie Benson

The initial penalty corner shot was saved but Tweddle pounced on the loose ball, flicking it up over Peaks goalie Heath Cremasco, who had gone to ground, and it bounced into a vacant goal.

Chris Metcalfe almost netted an immediate equaliser, his tomahawk strike missing to the right.

Peaks trailed by a goal heading into the final term and they won a third penalty corner of the game early in the last and despite that being unsuccessful, they kept pressing hard to find an equaliser.

North Albany celebrate a Toby Tweddle goal.
Camera IconNorth Albany celebrate a Toby Tweddle goal. Credit: Laurie Benson

Metcalfe was heroic in a losing affair, as he single-handedly tried to drag his side back on level terms.

In one last ditch effort from Metcalfe, his solo run into the attacking area and searing shot slamming into the side of the goal nearly forcing the game to go beyond normal time.

However, Redbacks’ defence stood firm, and should be commended for their ability to keep a clean sheet and book their first grand final berth since 2013.

The first five minutes of the final was played at a frenetic pace before things calmed down, but only for a few minutes.

North Albany's Leander McQuade and Manypeaks' Brett Stevens contest the ball.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Leander McQuade and Manypeaks' Brett Stevens contest the ball. Credit: Laurie Benson

The second term was full of drama, as first Metcalfe then Redbacks’ Tim Burns and finally Peaks’ Kieran Howie all received green cards but the game remained scoreless at half time.

Dan Smith and Pieter Coetzee were instrumental in the victory, goalie Tom Dinneen made a couple of critical saves and the work of Tweddle and Travis Douglas was also important.

In a losing affair Metcalfe was a man mountain and Tim Pyle repelled well from the back half but the absence of Tim Metcalfe was felt as Peaks were eliminated from the title race.

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