Goal in final seconds secures glory

Roadblock . . . Mataura maroon striker Celia Dickie attempts to outmanoeuvre the Southern goalkeeper in the Hockey Southland division one womens final at Gore on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Dayna Holland had three seconds to shoot a goal to win the game for Mataura in the Hockey Southland premier grade women’s final on Saturday.

As the ball hit the back board of the goal, the hooter sounded and Mataura prevailed over a spirited Southern team, 3-2.

The Maroons found themselves in catch-up mode for much of the game after Southern scored two goals before halftime.

With eight minutes to go, Mataura was awarded a penalty corner and Millie Cowan whacked the ball over the line.

Minutes later, Mataura was awarded another penalty corner and Cowan did the honours again.

Two minutes to go and with the score tied at 2-2, it looked as if a penalty goal shootout would decide the result.

Then came the Holland magic.

Picking the ball up from a pass near the top of the circle, Holland dribbled it into the circle and, somehow eluding attackers and the goalkeeper, sent it into the goal.

Team spokeswoman Latoya Grant said the players kept their composure even when down 2-0.

‘‘We stuck to our guns and didn’t give up and it paid off in the end.’’

The team had the lion’s share of the possession in the last quarter and was able to convert that to points, she said.

This was the fifth year in a row the team had won the competition.

However, going to the final, the side, which had struggled for numbers this year, knew Southern would be hard to beat.

‘‘Southern were improving right throughout the season.

‘‘We knew today was going be really tough.’’

Holland and Kendall Holland had very good games, Grant said.

Challenge. . . Eastern United player Connor Sharp,15, dribbles the ball down the wing as a Phoenix orange player comes in to tackle him in a Hockey Southland division one mens competition final in Gore on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

In the men’s division one final, Eastern United had drawn 1-1 with Phoenix when the final whistle blew.

The players then lined up for a penalty goal shootout.

At the end of the shootout the score was 3-3.

The shootout then became a sudden death-affair, Phoenix winning 1-0.

Coach Rob Dickie said the team did the basics of the game well.

‘‘We trapped and passed the ball well.’’

However, it did not make the most of its scoring opportunities.

‘‘The amount of possession we had we should have scored, especially in the second half.’’

Liam McFaul was one of the players to stand out.

‘‘He works really hard.’’

Back Aidan Forbes also had a good game.

‘‘He tackled well and passed well.’’

In other results, Eastern Grey beat the Northend Flamingos 5-2 in the division two men’s final, and in division three Eastern United lost 1-0 against Collegiate.