Redbacks on a memorial roll
North Albany have secured their third successive win in the Jo Burling Memorial Game, and in the process moved a step closer to securing a finals berth as they downed Spencer Park in front of a big crowd on Saturday afternoon.
Played in wet and windy conditions the 20th edition of the annual memorial fixture recognises local hockey stalwart Jo Burling, who lost her battle with breast cancer.
Redbacks opened the scoring in the first quarter and then doubled their advantage with five minutes to play in the second term.
A defensive blunder from Park inside the final minute of the second quarter compounded their woes, as Cionne Fage made no mistake to hand Redbacks a 3-0 half-time lead.
Park had two strong chances on goal in the third period but they could not beat young Redbacks keeper Chloe Whitfort.
Redbacks went into the final quarter still holding a three-goal lead and they won three penalty corners in the last 15 minutes but were unable to add to their tally.
Beck Gallimore was outstanding for Redbacks as they finished comfortable 3-0 winners to shore up their place inside the top four.
Whitfort made some crucial saves while hardworking teenagers Cate McDonald and Tallulah Gouldthorp were also strong players for Redbacks.
Redbacks coach Matt Gouldthorp said it was a strong team performance. “It was pleasing, some of the best hockey we’ve played,” he said. “All three goals were from good build-up.
“The occasion was the big thing but we needed the points.
“We’ve got a really young side and we are very pleased with how they are going.”
It was a positive weekend for Redbacks as they beat Mt Barker in a rescheduled game on Sunday to secure another vital three points.
The drought for Park in the memorial continues, having not won the shield since 2013.
Emma Thompson was terrific in midfield for Park and was well supported by defender Elise Hawkins and youngster Jorja Williamson.
The other women’s A-grade fixture has been rescheduled for tomorrow night.
In the men’s A-grade, the match between Spencer Park-Tigers and North Albany ended in a draw 3-3.
A sole goal from Oliver Ritchie helped Mt Barker upset Manypeaks 1-0 in Mt Barker.
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