The Rockingham Redbacks Willow Bridge Side took on their nemesis team of recent times the Peel Rebels at the Mandurah Hockey Stadium on Saturday afternoon. In one of the best displays since former Australian Olympian Michael Nobbs took over coaching, the Redbacks swamped Peel 5-2.
Both sides went into the game without a loss this season and on equal points at the top of ladder well clear of third place.
The opening 20 minutes was so emphatic by Rockingham that they were able to score 4 unanswered goals and almost take the game out of Peel s reach. Shaun Ford was on fire in front of the net and was able to collect a hat trick scoring the first three goals. All three were spectacular field goals that all the midfield players contributed to. The first being the most impressive – a cross bat shot when the ball was about a metre in the air – giving the keeper no chance at all. Brett Webb scored the final goal for the half when Rockingham was awarded a penalty stroke after Prabh Singh was fouled while having a shot on goal.
After the break Peel had to throw everything they had at Rockingham if they were going to have any chance of breaking the strangle hold that Rockingham had on the game. This did pay dividends as Peel scored 7 minutes into the half. They also had some luck fall their way when the ball bounced of the post 4 minutes later, which the Rebel strikers pounced on to scoring their second goal. Rockingham with stood a lot of pressure during the half which wasn’t helped when several players spent time of the field after receiving cards, but the composure showed by Rockingham in all situations was the difference between the sides. The Redbacks scored their 5th goal and sealed the game when Tom Hunter playing of the bench picked up a pass from Olly Bond in front of goal to flick the ball past the keeper.
Rockingham now are 3 points clear and stand alone at the top of the ladder which is the first time in the Club’s history since playing at this level. Also making history is that they play in the Challenge Cup on 9th July, which is where the top 2 sides play for the pennant after the first round of the home and away series.
Willow Bridge Cup Team Manager