FULL STRETCH: City Bears midfielder Justin Alford makes a play to get the ball around Barbs young star Tyler Gaddes.
FULL STRETCH: City Bears midfielder Justin Alford makes a play to get the ball around Barbs young star Tyler Gaddes. Chris Blanchard

Runaway 'luck' seals grand final berth for Bears

HOCKEY: Barbs pushed, poked and prodded the City Bears defence for as long as they could in search of the upset of the season, but it was not to be in the Premier League preliminary final.

In the end it was only a runaway first half goal to Bears interim captain Mitch Lollback that split the two arch rivals on Brent Livermore Field.

But it was almost not to be for the Bears outfit, with Lollback labelling his first half effort as "pure luck”.

After breaking free from the Barbs last line of defence, Lollback was caught in two minds as he approached goalie Dean Broomhall.

"I didn't know whether to pass it inside to Hughie (Cameron), or go for the glory shot,” he said.

"We had the two on one, and my aim was always to give it to Hugh, but in the end I thought about it so much that I ended up mishitting it straight into Broomy.

"It was all luck really.”

Barbs, led by a strong effort from representative brothers Reece and Tyler Gaddes, tried valiantly to find an equaliser in the second half but it was a Bears brick wall, led by Josh Lollback, that stopped them in their tracks each time.

Lollback also praised the experience of Mark Pollock in the tough, late stages which helped get the Bears side across the line.

"I think he really took control of the game, he was cool, calm and collected right when we needed him to be.”

The win sets up a thrilling decider this weekend between Bears and rivals Royals.



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