This week, Rockingham Redbacks Willow Bridge Cup side played Harlies at Perth Hockey Stadium. Rockingham overcame a determined opposition winning 3-2 in a battle hard fought to the end. The stadium is the home of hockey in WA and only recently had the main turf replaced, and unlike the Lark Hill turf was very slippery. Players from both sides struggled to maintain their footing which resulted in loss of ball control.
Despite the slippery conditions, the Redbacks had only to wait 13 minutes before their first goal was posted. Todd Ford starting from the bench had a dramatic input in the game when he seized on a sharp chance to smash the ball into the back of the net. Less than 2 minutes later after some great build up Christian Oskam & Olly Bond saw Ford score another more spectacular goal to put the local side up 2 nil.
Redbacks keeper Lachlan McDonald made some miraculous saves – a stand out being when Harlies had a breakaway attack where a striker went one on one with the keeper, which he repelled. However he wasn’t able to stop a short corner shot late in the first half which saw the half time score 2-1.
The Harlies goal lifted them in the second half and although they are at the bottom of the ladder they played well above themselves and where aided by the slippery turf, as Rockingham were unable to use their excellent stick skills and great control the ball, which have enabled them to dominate teams all season. Harlies scored a second short corner goal early in the half to level the scores. The remainder of the half turned in a battle of monumental proportions with neither side giving an inch. Rockingham scored the winning goal with 10 minutes remaining from a short corner variation seen at the World Cup recently. Oskam drag flicked the ball past the defense.
The remaining time left saw some great determination from both sides but the Redbacks held their nerve to make it 7 games without a loss so far this season.
Willow Bridge Cup Team Manager