Redbacks tussle for a second win

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
Manypeaks' Andrew Hannig moves in on the ball as North Albany's Damon Simpson and Matt Heberle defend.
Camera IconManypeaks' Andrew Hannig moves in on the ball as North Albany's Damon Simpson and Matt Heberle defend. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

North Albany gained some much-needed breathing space from the bottom of the Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association men’s A-grade ladder, toppling Manypeaks 3-1 on Saturday night.

Both sides were looking for just their second win of the season but it was the Redbacks who struck early when Jamie Chester converted the first penalty corner of the match.

The Redbacks’ defence was called on after a slow start from Peaks, with defender Matt Heberle producing an impressive stick save on the goal line to deny Peaks a penalty corner equaliser. But the relief was only short-lived when Craig Gambrell converted a second opportunity into the top corner to level the scores.

Peaks were left to rue a lapse late in the half when Troy Osborne was left alone in the circle with six minutes remaining, sneaking the ball past goalkeeper Heath Cremasco to take a 2-1 lead into the break.

Peaks’ hopes of pinching points ended when Tom Sherrington found the back of the net to break open an even battle in the second half, giving Redbacks a match-winning 3-1 lead. The loss confined Manypeaks to the rare sight of bottom of the ladder after six rounds with only one win and four losses.

Reigning premiers Mt Barker flexed their muscle against last year’s grand finalists Spencer Park, recording a dominant 7-1 win later in the evening, highlighted by a Hayden Macmahon hat-trick.

The 3-1 half-time lead was extended with four more unanswered goals in the second half.

Sam Want scored Park’s only goal in the first half, while Mt Barker’s spread of goalscorers included Harry Barbour, Ben Macmahon, Nick Slade and Zander Burcham. The result was the most one-sided of the season and Mt Barker’s fifth win to remain undefeated.

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