Robinson with the winner in Peaks premiership triumph
A fourth-quarter goal from the competition’s best player Courtney Robinson delivered premiership glory to Manypeaks in a tense and hard-fought women’s A-grade grand final on Saturday afternoon.
The winning goal came inside the last six minutes of the decider as the recently crowned fairest-and-best player showed her class with a clutch penalty corner conversion.
Peaks and their opponents North Albany produced a terrific contest on Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association grand final day, as both teams put everything on the line in the final quarter.
Robinson helped secure a fourth women’s A-grade title in seven years for Peaks, who prevailed 1-0 at the finish after surviving a number of nervy moments against the persistent Redbacks.
The moment came when Redbacks’ Kelly Burlikowski, who had been close to faultless in the match, lifted a ball inside Peaks’ circle.
The resulting penalty corner would be the decisive moment in the game, as Robinson’s shot took a minor deflection but beat the Redbacks’ defence to put Peaks a goal ahead.
Redbacks did their best to create opportunities in the final five minutes and throw caution to the wind but the best team all year, Peaks, were simply too strong across the board.
With Emma Pyle and Charlotte Edwards rock solid in defence, combined with the work of Alice Lydiate, Robinson and Renae Parsons in midfield, Peaks were in control for large periods of the game.
However, goalkeeper Marisa Edwards deserved plenty of the plaudits, as she produced three outstanding saves from Redbacks penalty corners in the second term to ensure her team did not go into half-time trailing.
Peaks captain Lydiate was awarded the best-on-ground medal as a key link-up player for her side going forward.
“The defence on both sides was quite hard to penetrate and for us, it required a lot of patience and belief in our ability that we could score goals,” Lydiate said.
“We talked a lot about keeping up the intensity and composure and it paid off for us. “Manypeaks has had a solid season and we have focused a lot on developing the juniors and we saw a lot of growth from them, it makes for a very promising future.”
Redbacks won four penalty corners for the match, all in the second term, as they pressed hard to open the scoring but were denied by a staunch Edwards on the goal line.
Midfielder Beck Gallimore, hampered by a leg injury, struggled to provide her usual impact.
Burlikowski was terrific for Redbacks, along with Cate McDonald and Hayley Hartwig, while Nicole Spinks stopped a sure goal, on the very last line from a first-quarter Peaks penalty corner.
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