Tamworth men's hockey: Kiwis and Souths notch final round wins

Kiwis almost threw a spanner in the works of Workies’ minor premiership hopes.

Workies’ final round 9-3 loss to Kiwis in the first game on Sunday opened the door for Tudor West to finish on top and claim the automatic spot in the grand final but Harper Galvin closed that with two early goals as South United edged them out 4-3.

Down 4-2, Tudors dragged a goal back with a minute to go and were threatening to breakaway in the final seconds but Jamie O’Connor came up with a crucial tackle.

Earlier a hat-trick to Craig Unger and double to Dylan McClelland helped Kiwis notch their first win of what has been a tough and frustrating season for the reigning premiers. 

Captain Josh Worpel, Alex Taggart, Nathan Czinner and Shaun Stevenson also found the back of the net. 

Worpel said it was nice to finish off the season with a win.

“After a disappointing season it very very pleasing,” he said.

He had to leave in the second half to coach his Waratahs side in the women’s minor semi-final but said in the first half they moved the ball a lot better and got into better attacking positions.

Souths then twice led by two goals after scoring twice in the first 15 minutes in what was an improved performance.

“I felt like we were a lot more clinical. Our basics were good, we didn’t miss too many opportunities and the one’s we got were good. We got a couple of tap ins,” Souths coach Sam Clifton said.

The result didn’t really have any bearing for them. They had no chance of winning the minor premiership.

“It was just about trying to get some confidence up for next week,” Clifton said.

“We changed a few things up, made a few positional changes.”

Feeling they have been a bit flat early on recently, he said they wanted to play an uptempo game from the start.

“The first 15 minutes we decided we wanted to go flat out and we got two goals out of it,” he said.

Addison Coutman controls possession for South United.

Addison Coutman controls possession for South United.

“That set the platform for the rest of the game.”

He felt like they had control for most of the game, and highlighted the speed they moved the ball as probably the biggest difference to recent games.

It meant Tudors were chasing them rather than having the time to set up.

His only real complaint was some uncharacteristic errors and turnovers in the last 10 minutes as Tudors came hard at them.

Clifton said Galvin played well in the first half. Jarrod McCluand was also “solid” in the centre.

The two sides will do battle again this coming Sunday for the right to face Workies in the decider.