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The successful division 1 Lower Great Southern Hockey Association team.
Camera IconThe successful division 1 Lower Great Southern Hockey Association team. Credit: William Tacey

Lower Great Southern Hockey Association have exacted grand final revenge on Geraldton, winning a thrilling decider in shoot-outs at the CBH Women’s Country Championships on Sunday to claim a maiden division 1 title.

The LGSHA women’s senior team reached their fifth grand final in the past seven years when they beat Upper Great Southern in shootouts on Saturday night at Perth Hockey Stadium.

Geraldton scored the winning goal in last year’s grand final inside the final two minutes of regular time and it appeared to be deja vu for the LGSHA when they conceded a goal with eight minutes left in the final which had broken a deadlock between the two sides.

LGSHA’s Cate McDonald with the ball.
Camera IconLGSHA’s Cate McDonald with the ball. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper

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However LGSHA dug deep in the dying stages of normal time, earning a penalty corner with 11/2 minutes on the clock.

Youngster Charlotte Edwards would be the hero as she converted the penalty corner to level scores at 1-1 and send her side into a second consecutive one-on-one shootout.

In a tense shootout, LGSHA goalkeeper Ashlyn Gardner produced some brilliance as she saved three of the five Geraldton attempts and goals to Julia Keymer, Beck Gallimore and Edwards sent the LGSHA into a jubilation as they prevailed 4-3.

It was a breakthrough for the LGSHA and a number of their senior players, after years of trying to win a division 1 trophy.

LGSHA’s Jess Gallimore.
Camera IconLGSHA’s Jess Gallimore. Credit: The West Australian

Senior player Courtney Robinson said it was an amazing feeling to watch the winning goal find the back of the net in the shoot-out.

“When the final score went in, it was real elation and relief,” Robinson said.

“We have been trying to win this for years and girls like Georgie Powis and Beck Gallimore our some of our longest standing ones.

“It was very nerve-racking but we seem to have pretty good success in one-on-ones and we had confidence we could get over the line.

LGSHA forward Cionne Fage in action.
Camera IconLGSHA forward Cionne Fage in action. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper

“Ash Gardner was incredible, she saved three of their five attempts and that put our strikers in a good position.”

LGSHA finish on top of their pool after wins over Peel (3-0) and Avon (2-1) on Friday and then goals to Keymer and Cionne Fage helped their side beat Roe Districts 2-0 in Saturday to set up a crossover match against Upper Great Southern.

Neither side could break the deadlock in regular time of the crossover but LGSHA would prevail in shootouts, 3-2, as Laura Archer, Gallimore and Edwards were successful in their attempts.

Robinson paid credit to their young brigade and also to veteran defender Georgie Powis, who was sore but got up for the decider.

LGS Julia Keymer.
Camera IconLGS Julia Keymer. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper

“This result shows the depth and strength in the women’s competition in Albany,” she said.

“We’ve been one or two in the last seven years so hats off to the girls who stuck at it.

“Credit to the young girls on our team. Amy Sandilands is tiny but gave us so much and Charlotte Edwards played a really good grand final.”

The triumphant division 1 team also contained three sets of sisters, Charlotte and Georgie Powis, Jess and Beck Gallimore and Lorissa and Kylee Ferrell.

It was a great all-round weekend for the LGSHA, with their division 3 team finishing third after a win in the third and fourth playoff while Lani Frusher was rewarded for a stellar carnival as she was a joint winner of the division 3 fairest and best player award.

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