NSW Pride are the toast of Australian hockey after being crowned Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Women’s and Men’s Champions.
The Pride defeated defending champions Brisbane Blaze in a nail biting shootout in the Women’s decider, before the Men’s team came from fourth at the end of the regular season to defeat the Perth Thundersticks 2-0 in the grand final and go back-to-back.
Women’s Grand Final
A Jocelyn Bartram penalty shootout masterclass guided NSW Pride to their maiden women’s title in a captivating final against defending champions Brisbane Blaze in Bendigo. If you are looking for the latest odds in sports, including Hockey, you can see the list of betting promo codes and see how highly your team is rated.
After scores were locked 2-2 at the end of regular time, the Hockeyroos goalkeeper demonstrated her brilliance with two clutch saves to enable teammate Greta Hayes to seal a 3-1 shootout victory.
After a tense opening quarter, an Abby Wilson tomahawk goal in the 22nd minute put the Pride 1-0 up, with Blaze goalkeeper Jordan Bliss saving the ensuring conversion opportunity.
The Blaze responded emphatically with Savannah Fitzpatrick slapping home and duly completing the conversion chance to put the 2019 champions 2-1 up at the main break.
Hockey One League leading scorer Grace Stewart’s diving deflection moments into the second half set up an exhilarating finish in a free-flowing affair.
Seconds before the final whistle, rising star Grace Young almost achieved the unthinkable with a diving forestick effort that sailed inches wide to ensure the match went to a shootout.
From there, Bartram asserted herself to deny the opening Blaze trio of Claire Colwill, Rosie Malone and Hannah Cullum-Sanders as teammates Mariah Williams and Stewart pushed the Pride 2-0 up.
Fitzpatrick would score at the second time of asking to set the scene for Hayes to crown herself in glory.
“Any time you take on Brisbane is always hard fought…just like State of Origin,” said a jubilant Wilson post match.
“There is a really big rivalry and the Blaze were coming off winning the inaugural season. We stuck it out and it was a really gutsy effort from the girls.
“I close my eyes when the girls take the shootouts…my stomach doesn’t really handle it. We were practising one on ones over the course of the season and they weren’t going too well but it came to us at the right time.
“For us there was a sense of redemption after a disappointing first season. We were the underdogs and this feels like a proving point that when you play really a good team game that is what is going to get you through.”
“We are the Pride and I couldn’t be prouder of everyone’s efforts and how we came together to achieve this.”
NSW Pride defended their inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League Men’s title with a 2-0 win against the Perth Thundersticks courtesy of a world class tomahawk goal from Ky Willott.
In reaching the summit, the Pride had knocked out minor premiers Brisbane Blaze on Saturday and returned with a gutsy defensive display to keep the Thundersticks scoreless.
The opening quarter belonged to Perth who forced Pride goalkeeper Ash Thomas into a string of clutch penalty corner saves from Thundersticks flicker Cambell Geddes.
The Thundersticks momentarily thought they’d breached Thomas’ defence when Liam Flynn had a flick turned in off Pride defender Ryan Proctor, but it was rightly ruled out for being too high from the first attempt on goal.
It was the wakeup call the defending champions needed as they counter punched with Willott’s bullet reverse stick strike from the baseline.
The Kookaburras squad member then effortless stroked home his conversion attempt to put the Pride 2-0 to the good 23 minutes into the match.
Perth lifted their levels but couldn’t find any luck with Jake Harvie’s tomahawk shot turned onto the crossbar by Flynn from close range.
The second half was a cagey affair, with NSW Pride forced to defend deeply at times, but with Matt Dawson and Dylan Martin leading by example the Thundersticks could find no way back into the clash.
“It’s unreal…it was well documented that we couldn’t win after losing three in a row so it was great to come out and get the win,” said victorious NSW Pride captain Jack Hayes.
“We spoke about only needing one or two chances. Perth came out really strongly and thankfully we managed to get it done.”
“A lot of us have played together since we were 12, so to win the trophy in 2019 and win another one now is unreal.”
“It is always tough losing three in a row but we had the belief…we got the job done early enough in the season to be here on the weekend and we knew we were good enough. We arrived in a Bendigo a few days early and just got to work.”
The Women’s and Men’s Most Valuable Player Awards were also announced as part of the grand final presentations.
HC Melbourne and Hockeyroos star Amy Lawton was named Women’s MVP, with Canberra Chill and Kookaburras goalkeeper Andrew Charter claiming the Men’s award.
Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Grand Finals – Match Details
Women’s Grand Final
NSW Pride 2 (Wilson 24’, Stewart 33’) Brisbane Blaze 2 (Fitzpatrick 27’/27’)
NSW Pride won shootout 3-1
Umpires: Aleisha Neumann & Kristy Robertson
NSW Pride Women’s Team: 1.Jocelyn Bartram (gk), 2.Sarah Johnson, 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendalle Tait, 6.Estelle Hughes, 7.Grace Stewart, 8.Alana Kavanagh, 10.Greta Hayes, 19.Morgan Blamey, 20.Maddi Smith, 23.Abigail Wilson (c), 24.Mariah Williams, 29.Courtney Schonell, 30.Makayla Jones, 32.Grace Young
Brisbane Blaze Women’s Team: 1.Savannah Fitzpatrick, 2.Ambrosia Malone, 3.Casey Dolkens, 4.Ashlea Fey, 5.Morgan Gallagher (c), 7.Hannah Cullum-Sanders, 12.Tatum Stewart, 13.Rebecca Greiner, 14.Meg Pearce, 19.Morgan Mathison, 22.Britt Wilkinson, 23.Ruby Harris, 24.Claire Colwill, 25.Kyra Livermore, 88.Jordan Bliss (gk)
Men’s Grand Final
Perth Thundersticks 0 NSW Pride 2 (Willott 23’/23’)
Umpires: Zeke Newman & Daniel Johnston
Perth Thundersticks Men’s Team: 1.Chris Bausor, 2.Will Battistessa, 3.Tim Geers, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Bryn de Bes, 6.James Collins, 7.Tyler Lovell (gk), 8.Brodee Foster, 10.Tom Wickham, 11.Tom Harvie, 13.Cambell Geddes, 14.Liam Flynn, 17.Aran Zalewski (c), 21.Ross Hall, 24.Matt Willis
NSW Pride Men’s Team: 2.Tom Craig, 5.Ash Thomas (gk), 6.Matthew Dawson, 7.Daine Richards, 8.Nathaniel Stewart, 9.Nathan Czinner, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Miles Davis, 19.Thomas Brown, 20.Ky Willott, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Ryan Proctor, 25.Jack Hayes (c), 26.Ehren Hazell, 28.Sam Gray