The Rockingham Willow Bridge Cup team travelled to Joondalup Arena on Sunday only to suffer there second defeat of the season. Whitfords who had to win to keep finals hope alive pulled of an upset win over Rockingham 2-1.
All visiting teams struggle with the surface at the venue with Rockingham being no exception. The Redbacks who only play there twice a year didn’t adapt to the bounce and speed of the ball and paid the ultimate price.
The game soon developed into a battle with neither side getting complete control. Rockingham did squander a few chances to score where Whitfords made the most of their limited chances to score the only goal for the half. This goal was a counter attack with caught the Redbacks defence out.
Rockingham did put a lot more forward pressure on but still weren’t able to capitalise and missed the opportunity to score many times. The fearsome Whitfords short corner battery scored midway through the half to give them a handy lead. Rockingham did respond a short time later with a short corner goal of their own when Christian Oskam put away a drag flick. This gave Rockingham some hope of salvaging a draw. Whitfords defence come under enormous pressure and when a short corner was awarded on the full time siren Rockingham still weren’t able to find the back of the net.
Rockingham have secured the services of Neil Hawgood for the remaining games in the absence of Michael Nobbs. Hawgood is currently coaching the WA State Ladies side the WA Diamonds. Although he had taken training sessions at Rockingham on several occasions this was the first game he had seen. He was impressed with the some aspects of the Redbacks game, he offered them advice on how to learn from this defeat and use this for their games to come.
Rockingham will play their last home game next week before playing in the promotional games to see if they came fulfil their ambition of playing AHG next year.