Redbacks out to end title drought

Headshot of Cameron Newbold
Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

North Albany will be hoping it’s fourth time lucky in their bid to end a lengthy premiership drought in the Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A-grade competition, when they tackle archrivals Manypeaks in Saturday’s grand final.

Redbacks are in a painful 17-year premiership drought, with their last women’s A-grade title coming way back in 1999, and again it’s Peaks who stand in the way of an elusive triumph.

Peaks won three straight premierships from 2013-2015 and Redbacks were their rivals on all three occasions.

Last year Redbacks made a fourth-straight grand final appearance but lost a dramatic decider 1-0 to Tigers after being unsuccessful in seven penalty corner attempts in the second half.

Redbacks ended the regular season in second place on the ladder but progressed straight through to the grand final with a 3-1 victory in the second semifinal a fortnight ago.

The two sides have evenly split their five encounters so far this season, Redbacks also winning in round 17 ,while Peaks scored victory in rounds 7 and 12 and the round 2 contest ended in a 2-2 draw.

A premiership would be a fitting result for the Redbacks veterans, including defender Tracey Menegola and Kelly Burlikowski.

Redbacks’ young brigade has been a key part of their strong season to date, with young striker Tallulah Gouldthorp and midfield duo Sophie McDonald and Carina Cronje vital to their hopes on Saturday.

Cronje scored twice when the two sides met and fellow youngster Claire Gonzales also found the back of the net.

Peaks will head in with plenty of confidence as they look to secure a fourth premiership in the past five seasons.

Star duo Renae Parsons and Courtney Robinson were both instrumental in their side’s preliminary final win over Mt Barker last week and they will again need to fire if they are to topple Redbacks in the most important game of the season.

The women’s A-grade grand final starts at 5.15pm on Saturday.

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