More sporting theatre, but this time from a local setting – Alexandra won a dramatic Central Otago senior women’s hockey final over Wakatipu in Cromwell over the weekend.
Following the recent New Zealand sporting trend of tense, nail-biting finales, a golden goal shootout was what it took to find a winner, as a penalty shootout following regular time still could not separate the two sides.
It finished 1-1 at fulltime after Alexandra co-captain Sarah Philip scored from a “well executed” penalty corner in the first half. Wakatipu would equalise after half-time.
The drama would be prolonged after a penalty shootout finished 4-4. As a result, both teams were sent to a golden goal showdown.
Alexandra’s golden goalie Claire Weaver pulled off a save in goal before Josie Lampe fired through the winning shot for a thrilling finish.
Coach Paula Hill said it was very hard watching from the sidelines.
“It was pretty much end-to-end. By the end of it everyone had given it everything.
“To be fair it could’ve gone either way.”
There was barely anything between the two sides during the regular season.
Alexandra’s only slip-up during a competitive year came against its final opponents – a narrow 3-2 defeat – before the rivals played out a 1-1 draw later in the season.
Saturday’s triumph continues a dominant run for the Alexandra women’s hockey team, which has only been defeated twice in the championship game over the past 10 years.
Hill said one of the keys to its success was that the club was “pretty tight”.
“I think all the girls get on really well. There’s some pretty key members in there which make a difference.”
The team was well balanced, with some youth added into the mix, Hill said.
“We’re pretty lucky.”
Co-captains Sarah Philip and Nikki Paterson led from the front with key contributions during the season.
“Joey Passmore had a really good season. But everyone really pulled their weight.”
Along with the form of senior club sides and the growth seen at high school level, Hill said hockey was “really strong” in Central Otago at present.
“It has got really big. This is the first year we’ve had six teams involved in the high school league.”
She said another turf for the region was required.
At present there is a full-sized water turf in Cromwell, a half-sized sand turf in Omakau and a smaller practice turf in Alexandra.
In the Central Otago senior men’s final on Monday night, Cromwell triumphed over Wakatipu, winning 2-1.