Coach lifts Marist to title
The age old saying “I’ll be a son of a gun” was never more apt than when referring to the South West Hockey League men’s grand final on Saturday at Bunbury Hockey Stadium, after Marist defeated Wests 2-1.
Policeman Daniel Sampey, son of former Marist champion Steve, accepted a transfer to the South West earlier this year and immediately made his mark as coach to lift the Blues out of a slow start to the grand final — along with culminating a personal stand-out performance in Marist’s regaining of the premiership.
Sampey smashed home a short corner to put the Blues in the lead after just four minutes and throughout the pulsating premiership encounter caught the eye with his organised play to set his side up on attack.
Sampey was backed by veteran Brett Cartledge, who received the best-on-ground medal, pacey Scott medallist Keegan Schoultz and long time skipper Andrew Blee.
The loss relegated Wests to another season as bridesmaids.
It was rapid-fire end-to-end hockey entertainment, courtesy of the tight control by experienced umpires Matt Milner and Cameron Budfield.
Marist dominated the first half with five penalty corners to one — but Wests’ solitary set piece was pounced on by Sam Pike, who whipped in a scintillating drag flick to level the scores at 1-all.
A second early attacking raid paid dividends for the Blues with SWHL top goalscorer Alby Lawrence getting the last touch to a goalbound ball from a scramble in the circle early in the second half.
The 2-1 scoreline remained intact in spite of a couple of late penalty corners to Wests — one of which slipped agonisingly close to the post.
Despite their defeat, Pike, goalie Hamish Coats, Tom Payne and Brett Dancer all performed well for Wests.
The A2 Grade flag was won 2-1 by Marist against Boyanup witrh Fab Crescenzi best-on-ground and Exies defeating Harvey 1-0 in the A3 decider with Matt Mort taking out the beston-ground medal.
2018 South West Hockey League grand final results
SWHL Men’s: Marist def Wests 2-1. Best on ground: Brett Cartledge (Marist) SWHL Women’s: Boyanup defeated Robins 3-1. Best on ground: Amber Vivian (Robins) A2 Men’s:
Marist def Boyanup 3-2* (golden goal). Best on ground: Fab Crescenzi (Marist) A2 Women’s: Boyanup defeated Marist 3-1* (penalty strokes) Best on ground: Lauren Johnston (Boyanup) A3 Men’s: Exies Cubs def Harvey 1-0. Best on ground: Matt Mort (Exies Cubs) A3 Women’s:
Exies Kittens def Exies 3-1. Best on ground: Megan Lush (Exies Kittens)