Peaks snap Barker’s winning run
A polished performance from Manypeaks has abruptly ended Mt Barker’s winning streak, the reigning premiers prevailing 4-1 in a physical and at times heated round 8 fixture of the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association men’s A-grade competition on Sunday.
Peaks, who claimed a fifth-straight men’s A-grade title last year, went in level with their newfound rivals at half-time before producing a superb final 35 minutes that netted them three more goals and a fourth win of the season.
Mt Barker have been in brilliant form since joining the competition this season, winning six straight games including a 3-2 victory against Peaks up in Mt Barker in round 3.
However, travelling into Albany to face the dominant side of the recent era and without key players Nic Slade and Brendon Havercroft proved a real test for the ladder-leaders.
Mt Barker drew first blood in the pulsating contest when Alex Fergie tapped in a ball on the far post after 12 minutes, but Peaks pressed hard to find an equaliser.
Peaks defender Kieran Howie and former teammate and now-Mt Barker star Reece Curwen clashed in a heavy bump and not, long after that, Chris Metcalfe’s work earned Peaks a penalty corner and Howie tugged the ball back to Chris Metcalfe and he duly converted with eight minutes left in the half.
Both sides struggled to gain control of the contest early in the second half and tempers began to flare, with Fergie and Peaks’ Adam Scott involved in a push-and-shove before umpire Glenn Keymer stopped the match to speak to both captains about the rising tension.
Peaks responded in the best possible way, some beautiful ball movement setting up their second goal midway through the last half as Riley Scott intercepted an errant pass, dished off to Chris Metcalfe, who set up younger brother Tim Metcalfe for the goal.
Peaks had quickly surged two goals ahead when David Pyle found Trevor Greay on the far post and he scored the easiest of goals.
Mt Barker continued to press forward and had their fair share of possession thanks to ball magnet Curwen, who was busy through midfield, and Tim Zadow, but they were breaking down up forward.
With fewer than five minutes to play, Peaks ended any hope of a Mt Barker comeback as David Pyle capped a typical workmanlike performance with a superb shot into the top left corner.
In the other men’s A-grade match, Spencer Park lifted themselves off the bottom of the standings with a high-scoring 5-3 win over Tigers on Saturday afternoon, with Jack Dawson and Karel Cronje both influential.
Meanwhile, in the women’s A-grade competition, Peaks skipped six points clear on top, outclassing Mt Barker 5-3 in Albany on Sunday afternoon, and on Saturday it was a third victory to Park this season when they defeated Tigers 3-1.
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