HOCKEY: It was a day of last- minute heroics in the Grafton Hockey Association grand finals on Saturday, and none was better than those of Royals third-grade star Shan Warren.
With the Shan Warren fan club in full force on the hill and his face plastered on sticks doing the rounds, the third grade fill in became a hero on Brent Livermore Field.
With only four seconds left on the clock, Warren managed to find the back of the net to level the game against Barbarians and take it into overtime, where Dave Pattison netted his second to deliver Royals final glory.
"I was just filling in and coming off the bench,” Warren said.
"Luckily I was there at the right time; we pushed forward and I was lucky to squeeze one into the corner with seconds to go.
"We could see they were tiring at the end there, so we just reset for extra time and came out on top of them.
"From having two blokes in the sin bin at one stage, to winning the final, it was a good comeback.”
But Warren's was not the only story of last-minute heroics at the complex.
Sailors Storm led by a staunch effort from goalkeeper Zoe Pritchett caused an upset when it netted off a short corner after the final hooter of extra-time drop-offs.
With penalty strokes looming, Sailors threw everything they had at
third- grade opponents Old Stars but it took back-to- back short corners for the wily veterans to finally crack.
The women's second- grade clash between champions Village Angels and Barbs Astrids also went into extra time with penalty strokes the only way to divide the two contenders.
For GHA president Peter Fysh, who hosted the finals for the first time as head of the association, it was a perfect day played out in perfect conditions.
"I am very happy with how the day played out and it is full credit to everybody who has chipped in to make it all run smoothly,” Fysh said.
"To the guys from Rotary who did the canteen and barbecue a massive thank you - our members have been to sit back and relax all day.
"But everyone, from the people behind the scenes to the members who came out and cheered on their teams from the hill, deserve a massive thank you.”
"It is just great to be a part of Grafton hockey on a day like today.”
GRAND FINAL RESULTS
Premier League: Barbs 3 def City Bears 0
Reserve Grade: Royals 3 def City Bears 2
Third Grade: Royals 2 def Barbs 1 (ET)
Fourth Grade: Sailors Old Boys 1 def City Bears 0
First Grade: McAauley White 3 def Barbs Helgas 0
Second Grade: Village Angels 1 (3) def Barbs 1 (0) (ET)
Third Grade: Sailors Storm 2 def Old Stars 1 (ET)
Fourth Grade: McAuley Gold 1 def Clarence Valley 0
Fifth Grade: Sailors ESPresso 6 def Sailors Sparkles 2