SOUTHS’ training in the lead up to Saturday’s men’s Premier League Hockey preliminary final did not include one-on-ones with the goalkeeper, but it was not a move the side lived to regret.
UP AND OVER: Souths’ Adam Campbell leaps over Zig Zag goalkeeper Luke Thurtell during Saturday’s shoot out. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 090516psouths1
Instead Souths’ players –and in particular goalkeeper John Rudge –kept their composure to beat Lithgow Zig Zag 4-3 on penalties and earn a place in the 2016 grand final.
“We’ve never practised that, but to throw the boys in the deep end was probably good. They just had to think about and do it and they did a great job,” Souths coach Ray Winwood-Smith said.
Five nominated players from each side were given eight seconds each to beat their rival goalkeeper in a one-on-one play.
Chris Hanrahan andAdam Campbell both scored in that first round of five, which finished locked at 2-all.
Eli Shirt and Michael Gant had found the mark for Zig Zag, the latter off a smart flick over the top of Rudge.
That meant it was then sudden death shots from that point, with the order re-starting. The already immensepressure built further.
Bryce Hitchcock, who had his first attempted blocked by Zig Zag goalkeeper Luke Thurtell, made good with his second play. Shirt did likewise.
Thurtell then made a sharp stick save off Hanrahan’s following attempt, whileRudge shut down Gant.
Jono Cole stepped up for attempt number eight and while Thurtell knocked the ball off his stick, he won it back and scored.When Zac Sharp’s effort beat Rudge only to hit the post and rebound away, Souths wasdeclared the victor.
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