McAuley College Open Boys dominate on hockey field
HOCKEY: McAuley Catholic College's dominance of the Combined Catholic Colleges State Hockey Championships continued last week, with the Open Boys team finishing in top spot, while Open Girls finished third.
It was an extra-time thriller in the Open Boys final, with neither McAuley nor Red Bend Catholic College able to score in regular time.
Open Boys coach Harrison Smith said that with only a one-game break from the semi-final win and the final, he expected a tough clash against their Sydney opponents.
"It was a really close final. In the first 10 minutes we had a penalty stroke and just missed, which was unfortunate because we really dominated in the first half, and then they had it all over us in the second,” he said.
"I was starting to get worried and then we went into extra time, and every five minutes both teams dropped two players.
"We went through two lots of extra time and we were one-and-a half minutes away from dropping another two players before Elliott Speed made a tackle and broke down into the backfield before getting a pass off to Rhys Cropper who tomahawked it in to score.”
Smith said the extra-time loss of four players worked in their favour to open the game up, and the 1-0 win secured the McAuley Open Boys their third straight state championship.
"There's always high expectations when the school goes away, and it's the fifth time we've won in 12 years and they're quite hard to win, there's always four or five very good teams there,” Smith said.
"There were a group of three Year 7 boys in the team that also played really well, they were fantastic.”
The McAuley Open Girls team also turned heads, winning through their pool without conceding a goal.
"I thought they had a better chance of winning the championship than the boys,” Smith said.
"They were unlucky to lose in the semi-final against the team that ended up winning, but the girls did really well.”