[img_assist|nid=6430|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=100|height=88]PERTH, October 26 – The Victorian Women have defeated NSW in the Grand Final of today’s Australian Hockey League Grand Final and crowned the 2012 Champions.
Victoria’s last Championship title was won back in 2003. The new crop of youth set the tone throughout the tournament with high intensity hockey.
Victoria and NSW played an open first 20 minutes with NSW hitting the scoreboard early, only to be followed by an own goal of their own for the equaliser.
Victoria then shocked the NSW team with three unanswered goals late in the first half to take an unassailable 4-1 lead at the half time break. The shell-shocked NSW team took the half time break to re-group and devise a strategy to beat the Victorian press.
However, it only took two minute into the second half for the Victorians to hand further pain to the already flat NSW outfit, with a clean shot on goal from Danielle Schubach. The 5-1 lead to the Victorians was always going to be a Mount Everest achievement to come back from such a deficit in one half of hockey.
Victoria would subsequently hold on their 5-1 lead and take out the 2012 Championship in front of a large crowd at Perth Hockey Stadium.
In today’s other matches, Queensland claimed the bronze medal by defeating the talented Western Australian outfit 3-0. To rub salt in the WA wounds, two time WA Olympian Kobie McGurk left the field with a serious knee injury. ACT finished a respectable fifth after knocking off 2011 Champions South Australia in their play-off match. Northern Territory claimed 7 place with a 3-2 victory over Tasmania.
The Player of the Tournament was awarded to ACT player Anna Flanagan who excelled throughout the tournament in a leadership role, drag-flick specialist and reliable defender. Claire Messent picked up the MVP Award for Player of the Grand Final. Messent scored one goal in the Grand Final and dominated the midfield with explosive pace.
The Hockeyroos and the Australian Women’s Under 21 team, The Jillaroos will play against one another at this year’s 2012 International Super Series at the Perth Hockey Stadium, November 22-25.
Grand Final Day Results
Victoria 5 def New South Wales 1 (half time 4-1)
VIC: Own goal (7m), Claire Messent (26m FG), Stephanie Riordan (30m FG), Sam Ellis (35m PC), Danielle Schubach (37m FG)
NSW: Georgina Morgan (4m PC)
Bronze Medal Match
Queensland 3 def Western Australia 0 (half time 1-0)
QLD: Tegan Holcroft (35m PC), Jodie Schulz (37m PS), Katelin Marks (67m PC)
5 v 6 Play-off
Australian Capital Territory 2 def South Australia 1 (half time 2-0)
ACT: Samantha Charlton (11m FG), Anna Flanagan (14 PC)
SA: Katie Pisani (39m FG)
7 v 8 Play-off
Northern Territory 3 def Tasmania 2 (half time 2-0)
NT: Jasmine Larosa (19m FG, 49m FG), Nicole Youman (26m FG)
TAS: Fiona Cock (42m FG), Tara Moore (55m FG)