The Rockingham Redbacks Men’s Willow Bridge Cup side travelled to Perth Hockey Stadium on Sunday evening to take on North Coast Raiders in the opening round of the season. Raiders were relegated from AHG at the end of last season and are very keen to get back to the elite level but were unable to deny the Redbacks a great first up win. Redbacks ran out winners 3-2.
With the long preseason behind them the Redbacks showed they will be a force in this year’s competition. In one of the best starts to the season, Rockingham was able to be on the front foot early but Raiders deep defence was very solid. Rockingham’s domination was all over the field including their defence which repelled all of the opposition attacks.
Raiders defence was started to wilt under enormous pressure allowing a sharp cross in front of goal which lead to a shot. The keeper saved it but a new player to the Club, Prab Singh, swooped on and pushed the ball into the back of the net.
A second was added about 10 minutes later after some brilliance by Christian Oskam which saw him dispossess Raiders of the ball and Brett Webb finished it off with a superb goal.
After the half time break the Redbacks continued to control the game and added another gaol from the other new player to the Club, Hardev Singh, who put away a short corner with a low hard flick.
Both sides had a little bit of trouble coming to terms with the new rules that have been introduced this year with Rockingham becoming a little more unsettled. The Raider’s capitalised on this and scored against the flow with a great field goal. This goal gave North Coast Raiders the belief they could get back into the game which turned into a reality when they scored another field goal 10 minutes from the end of full time.
The last 10 minutes was a sheer battle of the strongest but Rockingham reigned and were able to take the 3 points for the win.
Willow Bridge Cup Team Manager