Redbacks’ penalty corner dominance leads to win
North Albany defeated Spencer Park for the second time this season, with a convincing 3-1 win in round 8 of the Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association men’s A-grade competition on Saturday night.
Redbacks lost to Park in their most recent encounter just three weeks ago but in round 2 were successful 5-4 over the same rivals, and they showed encouraging signs on their way to a third win of the season.
Had it not been for a determined Park defence and resilient goalkeeper Antony Payne, the damage could have been worse as Redbacks dominated possession and chances on goal, mainly through penalty corners.
Redbacks’ first penalty corner led to their opening goal as Tom Sherrington scrambled home a conversion midway through the first half.
A second penalty corner was on target before catching the leg of a Park defender on the last line, resulting in the umpires awarding a penalty stroke.
Experienced defender Matt Heberle stepped up to take the stroke but he slammed the golden opportunity into the left post.
With seven minutes to play in the first, Park then hit back as youngster Jakyb Thomas scored a wonderful field goal against the run of play.
That strike and Park beginning to win more of the ball in midfield gave them plenty of momentum heading into half-time but Redbacks started the second half strongly and needed just six minutes to add to their tally.
Again, it was a penalty corner that yielded Redbacks’ second goal, with Payne saving the first shot before Pieter Coetzee pounced on the loose ball.
Park’s Tim Yap and Sam Brown tried desperately to drag their side back into the contest but they lacked a potent option up-front, where they continued to break down.
Redbacks on the other hand began to grow in confidence in attack, keeping Payne very busy in goals but he was up to the task on several occasions.
Eventually though, Redbacks broke through for a deserving third goal as Tim Burns capped an impressive game with a strong run and strike from a tough angle inside the final six minutes.
Redbacks’ domination was evident with the eight penalty corners they won compared to Park, who failed to earn one.
Burns, Andre Gabriel, Heberle and the ever-reliable Jamie Chester were instrumental for the winners, while Park were best served by Brown and Payne.
Defending premiers Mt Barker lost their first game of the season after copping a 5-1 thrashing from Manypeaks on Saturday night.
David Pyle and Shaun McKay each finished with a brace as their side won a third game of the season which lifted them off the bottom of the standings.
In the women’s A-grade, Peaks defeated Tigers 1-0 on Saturday afternoon ,while Redbacks forfeited their match against Mt Barker.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails