The Rockingham Redbacks Willow Bridge suffered their first defeat of the season when they played Joondalup Lakers on Sunday afternoon at Joondalup Arena.
Rockingham were aware that this was always going to be a hard game as Joondalup and Rockingham have had some fierce battles in the past, and this game wasn’t going to be any different. With the Redbacks at the top of the ladder and Lakers equal third the pressure was high. Lakers handling it better ran out comfortable winners 3-1.
The Redbacks defense came under a lot of pressure in the opening spell but they were equal to the task. Keeper Lachlan McDonald was at his brilliant best, saving a penalty stoke that was awarded only 3 minutes into the game. This effort combined with other great saves lifted the Redbacks and they were able to apply their own pressure. The game went from end to end with neither side being able to score till mid way through the half when Shaun Ford steered the ball with a clever deflection that had the Lakers keeper going completely in the wrong direction.
Lakers replied with a goal of their own 5 minutes later, when they were awarded a short corner. The first shot was saved but unable to keep the second shot out. At the half time break the game evenly poised and the team that wanted it most would claim the points.
The deadlock took a full 25 minutes to break with neither backing off. The Lakers attackers were able to get in behind Rockingham’s defense and scored 2 field goals. After the first goal Rockingham only just failed on a number of occasions, but Lakers hit back with the second goal. Rockingham never gave up but fell short on the day.
Despite this loss the Redbacks are still 3 points clear on top and are looking forward to the Challenge Cup against Peel on Friday night at the Perth Hockey Stadium.
Redbacks Willow Bridge Team Manager