Ter­rific Tor­na­does cap­ture first men’s ti­tle

Geelong Advertiser - - HOCKEY - GE­OFF DAVIE

TORQUAY has bro­ken its hockey duck by claim­ing its first Hockey Gee­long men’s Di­vi­sion 1 premier­ship.

And the Tor­na­does did it in em­phatic style with a dom­i­nant 7-0 win over its bo­gey side New­town Fal­cons.

It was the fourth grand fi­nal for the men in the club’s fifth year, hav­ing pre­vi­ously lost to New­town in 2013, ’14 and ’16 and it came with much re­lief for coach and club pres­i­dent Chris Thomp­son.

“It’s un­be­liev­ably good. It gets the mon­key off the back,’’ Thomp­son said on Satur­day night.

While New­town, by its own ad­mis­sion, had strug­gled to field a con­sis­tent team dur­ing the sea­son, Torquay’s ti­tle was built on an even con­tri­bu­tion across the pitch. “We ran lots of ro­ta­tions and ev­ery­one con­trib­uted,’’ Thomp­son said.

“The goals that gave the most joy were the ones where we tran­si­tioned re­ally quickly and passed the ball around. It was not in­di­vid­ual ef­forts that got those goals. That was the biggest dif­fer­ence to­day.

“I was just rapt with all of them. The guys you don’t ex­pect much from like the half- backs; they’re not the stars of the team, but they just did their job.’’

New­town head coach Deb Bar­nett ac­knowl­edge Torquay’s strength this year.

“They’ve been the team to beat all along,’’ she said. “They’ve al­ways had a good bench, re­ally solid.’’

In the women’s Di­vi­sion 1 fi­nal, Gee­long Jaguars thwarted Torquay’s bid for back-to­back pen­nants with a 3-0 win.

It was Gee­long’s 11th women’s Di­vi­sion 1 ti­tle, but the first since 2003, and it capped a big day by also go­ing back-to back in Di­vi­sion 2 with a 3-1 win over Golden Plains, which was play­ing in its first fi­nal.

Gee­long Jaguars co-or­di­na­tor Pam Sut­ton was de­lighted with the ef­fort that came on the back of a strong re­cruit­ing and devel­op­ment program in re­cent years.

Goal­keeper Tori Milne was named player of the fi­nal.

Sut­ton said Milne had saved as many as 15 shots on goal, in­clud­ing a penalty stroke at­tempt.

Saints took the hon­ours in men’s Di­vi­sion 2 with a 2-1 win over New­town Spirit, Gee­long lo­cal hockey leg­end Shane Wal­ters scor­ing one of the goals.

Pic­ture: MIKE DUG­DALE

LEFT: Torquay play­ers cel­e­brate their Di­vi­sion 1 men’s premier­ship.

WINNERS: The Gee­long Jaguars’ Di­vi­sion 1 team cel­e­brates its premier­ship win at Stead Park on Satur­day.

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