Former West Australian helps Tassie to title
IT was a cruel blow for the WA Thundersticks, losing out to Tasmania 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out in the final of the Australian Hockey League.
The game could have gone either way after the WA Thundersticks had an explosive start to the match. Two goals in the first quarter put WA in the box seat for a tenth AHL title. Tasmania, whose only loss for the tournament came at the hands of the Thundersticks the day before, responded late on in the piece to pick up their first ever Australian Hockey League title.
It was the perfect start for the Thundersticks, who raced to a two-goal lead after only six minutes of play. Chris Bausor was first to strike when he scored his sixth goal of the tournament from a short corner.
Trent Mitton then doubled the Thundersticks’ advantage four minutes later with a drag flick similar to Bausor’s.
The Thundersticks’ full field press was causing problems for the Tasmanian Tigers. They did manage to withstand the pressure and come the fourth term, were able to find the breakthrough.
Quick-fire goals early in the fourth quarter brought Tasmania right back into the contest. First, Sam McCambridge was able to find the back of the net before Eddie Ockenden scored on the reverse during a penalty corner variation.
Tasmania’s WA import goalkeeper Tristan Clemons was outstanding throughout the game.
In the second term, Clemons denied Mitton twice to keep Tasmania in the contest. The custodian maintaining that form throughout the shoot-out, with national keeper Tyler Lovell doing his best for the Thundersticks.
Eventually Clemons swept away a flick for the title.