Summers heroics help Royals in last-gasp win
HOCKEY MEN: It was a mighty effort from Clocktower Hotel Royals to maintain their undefeated start to 2018.
In a thrilling second-round clash, a last-gasp effort from Michael Summers was the only thing to separate Royals and City Bears B&S Kitchens at the end of 70 minutes with the score at 4-3.
But it was a game that looked much more one-sided in the early stages, as Royals slotted three goals in the opening 15 minutes.
Royals captain Matt Lobsey said it was great to watch his side begin to put together concepts thought out in pre-season drills.
"We are still working on a few things for the rest of the year, and it is only early days, but there was a lot of good signs early on in the game,” he said.
"We jumped out to that lead really quickly, and it was great to be able to put that early pressure on a side like City Bears.
"But we were never truly comfortable with the lead. We know what that side is capable of, we knew they would come back fighting and it is exactly what they did.”
City Bears were without coach Rick Sampson, who is coaching the NSW Under-15 side at the national championships, but managed to knuckle down on the defensive end.
With stability at the back, the Bears midfield led by the efforts of Josh Lollback and Dave Dart began to fight back against the Royals structures and soon found the back of the net as well.
The Bears brigade soon drew level with Royals and the sides began to duke it out in a fashion that has become customary in games between the two rival clubs.
But it was Summers who managed to flick the ball over the top of Bears keeper Toby Power into the net that secured the win in the final minutes.
It capped off a heroic four-goal afternoon for Summers who scored doubles in both reserve grade and backing up in Premier League.
"It is just a great feeling to get a win up against the Bears, it doesn't happen too often for us, so we will savour this for a while to come,” Lobsey said.
In other Premier League action, defending premiers Barbs Hagars got its season back on track with a dominant win against Sailors Bean Scene.
Dean Broomhall kept a clean sheet in the 4-0 win.