It was a wet-weather slugfest on Saturday afternoon, as Souths scored a 2-1 victory over top of the ladder rivals the Regals just moments before the final siren.
The grim weather over the Newcastle International Hockey Centre didn’t slow the game down, however, as both sides entered the clash roaring. The opening quarter was neck-and-neck, and finished scoreless as both sides failed to find the back of the net.
The second quarter was a different story, as Regals striker Sophie Skliros put away a penalty corner to crack open the game. Souths were right on their tails, and Astrid Bennett grabbed a goal just two minutes later to equalise the score.
The second half was a deadlock in the wet, and it looked like the table-topping clash was set to end in a draw. Stand-in Lions captain Kiahni Abell had other plans, however, grabbing the winning goal for her side moments ahead of full-time.
Souths coach Tony Duck said the rain-washed clash was a great game for both sides, but said he was of course happy to see his team secure the victory.
“It was definitely an arm wrestle and could have gone either way,” Duck said. “They managed the first goal, we got the next and It wasn’t till the end of the fourth quarter till we got our second goal to win.
“Our defence was very, very good on Saturday, I thought our attack was good but could be better. We will work on that free-flowing attack to hopefully see some more field goals but will be sure to keep practicing our short corners as they are giving us the goals.”
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Also at the NIHC, University walked away emptyhanded after a 5-0 clash against the Oxfords. The students-side has yet to score a win in 2019.
Down south on the coast, Gosford scored a 3-0 win against the Tigers. Shelley Barrie set the pace for City in the opening quarter, and Helen Cole and Alex Morrison rounded out the three-goal advantage to put Gosford just three points off the top.
Finally in the Women’s Premier League on Saturday, Erina Avoca Beach grabbed an early 2-0 lead against The Entrance through a field goal, and then a penalty shot. The Entrace were able to grab one back in the second half, but the eventual winners managed a third late on to secure their 3-1 victory, and control of third in the standings.
TABLE: Souths (17), Regals (15), Erina Avoca, Gosford (14), Oxfords (13), Tigers (12), Central (11), The Entrance (10), University (5).