Sailors’ Kane Hancock picks up a loose ball in the circle as Bears’ defender James Wilks and goalkeeper Simon Colgrave watch on.
Sailors’ Kane Hancock picks up a loose ball in the circle as Bears’ defender James Wilks and goalkeeper Simon Colgrave watch on. SHANE SEDGER

Sailors shock Bears

SAILORS surprised many by cruising into the Grafton Hockey Association A-grade grand final with a 3-1 win over City Bears.

Bears were the overwhelming favourites coming into the match, having been crowned minor premiers just two weeks ago.

However, the underdogs triumphed and now have a chance at an unlikely premiership.

Sailors captain-coach Scott Smith was overjoyed with the win, praising his team's mental edge.

"Our focus has been to take one game at a time and it's exactly what we've done so far," Smith said.

He credited the way his team attacked through the field, which paid dividends with goals to Phil Kelly, Kane Hancock and Barney Howard.

"Both teams are evenly matched when it comes to on-field performance, but discipline may have been the difference," Smith said.

"We'd been working hard on our mental state of play for weeks.

"In the end we knew that if we played the game between our ears we could get the win."

It is a battle Sailors won, as they managed to grind out the win after leaping to an early advantage.

Nick Worrell proved why he was named goalkeeper of the year, while Justin Donohue played one of his best games of the season.

"Nick was just outstanding and Justin stood tall at the back with a massive game," Smith said.

They now prepare to face Barbarians in the grand final on Saturday, but Smith said nothing would change in their preparation.

"We've been taking it one game at a time and now that's all that's in front of us - one game," he said.

Brent Russ was the only scorer for City, which crashed out of the finals after consecutive losses.

 

ELIMINATION FINALS

A-Grade - The Dark Horse Sailors Maclean Motors 3 defeated City Bears 1.

B-Grade - Barbarian Horribles 1 defeated Sailors McLennan Deece 0

C-Grade - Sailors Grafton Air/Cetnaj 3 defeated Barbarian Vikings 1

 C-Grade Consolation - Royals Originals 2 defeated Royals Irish 1.



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