Eastern United pipped at the post

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Second place...The Eastern United hockey team played well to draw its Hockey Southland division one final with Phoenix Orange 4-all but in the penalty shootout decider lost the game 3-nil. PHOTOSANDY EGGLESTON

Eastern United made the most of its chances to draw its division one final against Phoenix Orange but was pipped at the post during the penalty shootout to decide the game.

At the end of the game the score was locked at 4-4.

Phoenix excelled in the subsequent penalty shootout, beating Eastern 3-0.

Eastern was the first to score in about the 10th minute of the game though Jared Milford. Phoenix replied with a goal about a minute after.

Just before the end of the first quarter Ethan Friend scored for Eastern to go up 2-1.

In the second quarter of play Phoenix mostly kept possession and was rewarded with another goal just before halftime.

Eastern came back strongly after the break to score two minutes after the pass back. Scott Rome reverse stick hit the ball past the goal keeper from near the top of the circle.

Ten minutes later after attempting to stop a player from taking a shot at goal Eastern goalkeeper Steven Forbes was penalised and unsuccessfully defended the penalty stroke which followed. The scores were then level at 3-3.

Just before the third quarter ended, Eastern’s Milford scored to once again take the lead. The last quarter Eastern defended well but as time ticked by failed to clear the ball out of the circle after stopping a penalty corner attempt at goal and Phoenix scored the equaliser.

Eastern coach Rob Dickie said while his team did not have as much possession of the ball as Phoenix, his players took the few chances they had.

“Something we talked about before the game was to make the most of our opportunities . that is sort of what happened.”

Each time his team scored Phoenix counter attacked strongly.

“They came back on us pretty quick after every time we scored.”

He was also pleased with the team’s defence.

Centre half Ben Aynsley (18), and strikers Maclean Sharp (16) and Milford played well.

In the women’s division two final on Saturday in Invercargill, the Riversdale Pinkies prevailed against Southern Masters 3-2.