For the first time in history, the Margaret River women’s A2 and Mmen’s A2 hockey teams brought home the premiership cups from the Busselton Hockey Association.
The “Margies Tarts” fought a tough match against undefeated ladder leaders Busselton Jets to claim the 2012 premiership.
The cohesive team delivered a fastrunning and physical game and came up trumps with a 3-1 score.
A goal was netted by Debbie Storey and two goals were scored by Janet Smith while goalie Kristi Head saved the match on many occasions and slid out to stop all but one of the Jets’ attacks.
Coach Stuart Campbell said the players held their heads high after they played a fair game and Janet Smith won best on ground.
The sensational win was well deserved on many levels – a first premiership win for 33 year veteran player Jo Curtin and a great first season result for Nickole Munyard who had no background in hockey or team sports, Campbell said.
The Riverdogs played a nail-biting grand final match against traditional arch-rival Busselton’s Wests, who were undefeated throughout the 2012 season.
Margaret River proved they were up to the task and in true fighting fashion saved their best game for the final and put the Wests under the pump right from the first whistle.
All players delivered a very tough, focused, hard and skillful style of hockey.
Goal scorers Al Draper, Matty Bycroft and Grant Evans had River up 3 goals to 2, but the never-say-die Wests put a score on the board right at the final siren to draw level with Margaret River.
Penalty strokes saw goalie Peter Wright shine as he stopped all but one of Wests’ shots on goal and the team emerged with a convincing 7-4 win.
Players Matt Kent, Al Draper and Bryn Jenkins all nailed penalty strokes.
The season’s fairest and best award was won by Bryn Jenkins.
Campbell said although he hadn’t played the game for 14 years he coached both sides for the final six weeks of the season.
The teams “already had the skills, I just came into inspire, mentor and motivate them,” he said.
“I just broke the game down and told them to keep it simple.”
Campbell’s instruction for the final match was “to play fair, but play hard and beat them on the scoreboard”.
He said a high standard of hockey was played and he “was the happiest man on earth. I cried”.
A large enthusiastic Margaret River crowd travelled over the river to support the teams to victory.
Spokeswoman Amy Smith said the success of the Margaret River Club “could be seen in the display of crowd and supporters and from past players whom have stepped up as role models for the up and coming”.
“A big thanks to coach Scar Campbell, coach-captain Roz Cummings, captain Tyler Wise, Brynley Jenkins, Ian Currell, Mark Harrison and Wally Zalewski for their tireless and ongoing dedication,” she said.
“The club is always keen to welcome new players and looks forward to a continuation of the growth of Margaret River Hockey.