Tigers face crucial last clash

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Email Cameron Newbold

Tigers face a must-win game against Manypeaks this Saturday after sharing the points in their round 18 Lower Great Southern Hockey Association women’s A-grade clash with Spencer Park on Saturday afternoon.

In the battle for third and fourth position on the ladder, Mt Barker all but assured they will play finals in their first season since joining the A-grade competition after defeating reigning premiers Manypeaks 3-1 on Friday night.

Tigers' Julia Keymer.
Camera IconTigers' Julia Keymer. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Tigers and Park both had their chances to go ahead in the tight contest on Saturday but neither could find the back of the net.

Spencer Park's Emma Thompson gets the ball past Tigers' Tamara Lowry.
Camera IconSpencer Park's Emma Thompson gets the ball past Tigers' Tamara Lowry. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Chloe Westerberg and Emma Thompson worked tirelessly for Park, who earned a penalty corner just before the final whistle.

After believing they had scored from the set piece, a second penalty corner was given but to no avail as the sides still could not be separated after 70 minutes.

Hollee Taylor and Julia Keymer were strong contributors for Tigers as the match finished 0-0.

Spencer Park's Caitlin Growden and Tigers' Hollee Taylor vie for the ball.
Camera IconSpencer Park's Caitlin Growden and Tigers' Hollee Taylor vie for the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

The result leaves Tigers two points adrift of fourth-placed Park with two rounds remaining but Tigers have the bye in round 20, meaning their clash with Peaks in the penultimate round is their last chance to displace Park from fourth spot. Park face North Albany and Peaks in their final two games of the regular season but their goal difference of -7 is better than Tigers’ -15.

Meanwhile in the men’s A-grade, Tigers leapt into finals contention with an upset 4-1 victory over Park on Saturday night.

With just over three minutes to play in the first half, Tigers broke the deadlock, with youngster Harry Keymer setting up Connor Doak with a lovely ball into the attacking circle. Less than a minute after half-time, Keymer was at it again, with his brilliant solo run capped off with a goal after wheeling around Park keeper Antony Payne to slot Tigers’ second goal home.

It was quickly 3-0 when Tigers converted a penalty corner as Keymer passed to Brett Stevens on the left post and he heaped more pain onto the struggling Park.

Without key playmakers Jack Dawson and James Gonzales, Park had failed to create many genuine chances on goal, but Hennie Botha finally got Park on the board, converting a penalty corner with 20 minutes remaining.

Tigers, though, weren’t to be denied as they continued to attack, and eight minutes after Park struck, Keymer put the result beyond doubt with a wonderful field goal to complete the 4-1 win.

Earlier in the week, Peaks and Mt Barker, who will meet in the first week of finals, played out a pulsating 4-4 draw.

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