Goal in final seconds thrilling finish to Bears, Barbs game
HOCKEY: The Grafton Hockey Association men's first grade game between City Bears B&S Kitchens and Barbs Hagars promised to be an intense clash, and it lived up to its billing with a nail-biting finish to the game where Bears salvaged a 2-2 draw with less than a minute left in the match.
With end-to-end action and plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams, it was Bears who opened the scoring in the second quarter when an Eli Fahey deflection off a short corner found the back of the net.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead into the half-time break and they looked to capitalise on their lead, but it was the dangerous Tyler Gaddes who found space in the attacking 23, drawing Bears goalkeeper Toby Power out to shut down the play.
Gaddes found a well-timed pass to an unmarked Troy Urqhart to get Barbs on the scoreboard and level the scores.
Barbs hit the lead with three minutes left on the clock thanks to a lightning-fast drag flick from NSW's state under-21s superstar Reece Gaddes to make the score 2-1.
Bears refused to lay down and in the final minute of the game forced a short corner that saw Brayden Lollback take full advantage on a set piece to find the top corner of the goal and level the score 2-2.
Bears coach Rick Sampson said the clash on Sunday afternoon had the crowd anticipating a fast, explosive game.
"The boys didn't disappoint with a heap of end-to-end play and plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for both teams,” Sampson said.
In the other men's first grade clash, Royals Clocktower defeated Jetty Jets 8-1, while in men's Premier League action Grafton earned a 4-0 win over Ballina.
The women's first grade competition had McAuley White continue their winning form with a 2-1 victory over Barbs Helgas.