An epic final term from Vikings eliminated Mt Barker from the women’s A-grade finals race in the Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association, after their semifinal in Mt Barker on Saturday night.
Mt Barker finished the season in third position, two games clear of Vikings, and the home side netted the first goal within five minutes.
A second goal late in the first quarter had Mt Barker well in control after soaking up plenty of early pressure as Vikings had a number of unsuccessful penalty corners.
In the second quarter, both sides defended very well and there were limited scoring opportunities.
Chloe Plowman made the most of one of few chances, netting Vikings’ first goal from a penalty corner to leave her side trailing by one goal at three-quarter-time.
In the last, experienced Vikings player Georgie Powis tied the game up as the game swung back in their favour.
Inside the final two minutes, Louise Quartermaine found her way into a scoring position to put the ball in the back of the net and score the winner for Vikings.
Vikings desperately defended as Mt Barker went on the attack in the dying moments, surviving a couple of nervous moments to win 3-2.
Vikings booked themselves a place in the preliminary final, where they will face North Albany.
Youngster Abbey Smith was instrumental all day, while Tully Joy and Plowman were also important in the win.
Amy Sandilands, Claire King and Jess McPartland were solid across the four quarters for Mt Barker.
A hat-trick from Meg Slattery in a dominant first half from minor premiers Manypeaks helped them secure their place in this year’s women’s A-grade grand final.
Slattery was on fire for Manypeaks, scoring two goals within the first 10 minutes of the semifinal against North Albany on Saturday.
When Slattery netted her third goal, four minutes into the second quarter the game appeared almost over.
Peaks led 3-0 at half-time and Redbacks needed to respond, State representative Tallulah Gouldthorp doing just that as she finished off a bit of individual brilliance with a tomahawk strike to find the back of the net.
That was the last score of the game as Manypeaks finished eventual winners 3-1, led by Slattery, Emma Pyle and Courtney Robinson.
Gouldthorp was terrific for Redbacks along with veteran Kelly Burlikowski. Redbacks will now face off against Vikings in this Saturday’s preliminary at 1.30pm with the last grand final berth up for grabs.
Vikings in their maiden season will be full of confidence after the come-from-behind win while Redbacks are desperate to get back to grand final day and avenge for last year’s shock defeat.