Sailors Aleisha Thiird notched a hat-trick for the side in their thrilling draw with McAuley White.
Sailors Aleisha Thiird notched a hat-trick for the side in their thrilling draw with McAuley White. Shirleyanne Thompson

HOCKEY: Cameron hat-trick avoids scare for McAuley

HOCKEY WOMEN: A second-half hat-trick to McAuley White striker Ellynie Cameron has helped the side escape a rare scare in Grafton Hockey Association women's first grade action.

McAuley were staring down the barrel of defeat at half time, trailing a willing Sailors Roches Hotel outfit 3-1, but it was a return to the basics that helped them surge back into the lead late in the second half.

But with five minutes to go Grafton representative Aleisha Thiird snuck a goal through the McAuley defence - notching a goal-scoring hat-trick of her own - to secure a 4-4 draw.

McAuley White captain Angie Day, who picked up a muscle strain in her leg during the clash, said it was probably a good scare for her side.

"It is sometimes good to have a game like that to force everyone to wake up a little bit,” she said.

"We were just a bit lacklustre in defence during that first half, and we found ourself in a position we haven't been in before this season.”

McAuley were never out of the game though, making in-roads through the Sailors defence but were unable to finish off the movements on goal.

But it was a defiant effort from the young Sailors midfield that made all the difference, with the women in the middle working the ball around the field with precision.

"While Aleisha might have finished off a lot of their goals, it was the good work in the middle from a lot of their younger players that impressed me,” Day said.

"Luckily for us Ellynie got pretty fired up during the break and went out with a one-woman mission.”

With the draw McAuley remain undefeated this season as they aim to make it four consecutive first grade titles.

In other women's action Barbs Helgas and City Bears played out a 1-1 draw on Brent Livermore Field.



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