Cronje’s tricks end Red­backs

Albany Advertiser - - SPORT - Tayler Neale

A bril­liant hat-trick from Karel Cronje proved the dif­fer­ence as Spencer Park ended North Al­bany’s sea­son with a 5-2 vic­tory in the first semi­fi­nal of the Lower Great South­ern Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion men’s A-grade com­pe­ti­tion on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Park hit the lead after only five min­utes when young­ster James Gon­za­les in­ter­cepted a lazy switch pass that re­sulted in a goal.

Red­backs coun­tered only min­utes later through a penalty cor­ner con­ver­sion from Marco Coet­zee to level the scores at 1-1.

Park dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion from that point on­wards and were even­tu­ally re­warded when Cronje put in his first goal of the match with six min­utes left in the half.

Cronje struck again min­utes later to put Park up 3-1 at half-time.

Park’s dom­i­nance con­tin­ued in the sec­ond half as Red­backs tried to weather the storm, how­ever Jack Daw­son was able to ex­tend Park’s lead with a goal from a penalty cor­ner.

Cronje’s third goal was a spectacular strike from just in­side the cir­cle that sealed the vic­tory as Park stretched the mar­gin to four goals.

Red­backs striker Ed­die McQuade was able to find the back of the net in the dy­ing min­utes to en­sure a 5-2 re­sult as Park progress through to the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal.

Mean­while in the sec­ond semi­fi­nal, Mt Barker com­fort­ably ac­counted for Many­peaks 4-0 to move into the grand fi­nal.

Play­ing on their home field, Mt Barker put on a dom­i­nant dis­play, with Hay­den Macma­hon scor­ing two goals, while Alex Fergie and Reece Cur­wen also found the back of the net for the vic­tors.

Peaks and Park will now face off in the pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal this Satur­day.

Pic­tures: Lau­rie Ben­son

Spencer Park's Jay Pan­nell gets past North Al­bany's Law­son Terp­stra.

Spencer Park's Karel Cronje cel­e­brates a goal.

Spencer Park's Sam Brown looks to pass the ball off.

North Al­bany's Tom Din­neen and Spencer Park’s James Gon­za­les clash.

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