Caroline Springs finds finals campaign twice as nice

Caroline Springs Brittany Webster. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Two seasons and two grand finals is the story for both Caroline Springs women’s hockey teams in the Hockey Victoria winter competition.

After topping their divisions and taking out premierships last season, the Springers weren’t expecting to have the same success this year.

But at the weekend both teams won through to their grand finals.

Springers coach Ron Shadbolt was thrilled by the outcome.

He said while several players from last season had returned this year, both were very different looking sides.

The Vic League 2 side needed a penalty shootout to claim victory against MHSOB on Sunday.

Having previously said that MHSOB would be the one team they thought would give them trouble, Shadbolt and the leadership group put a lot of hard work into the game plan.

And it paid off.

“It was an extremely hard-fought game,” he said. “It was up and down both ends and was a classy, high speed game.

“I felt about the last 15 minutes of the game we were getting on top.

“They scored their first goal with about five minutes to go against the play.”

The Springers were able to respond not long after through Brittany Webster.

With scores locked at 1-1 at full-time, the game went to penalties.

Jessica Kelly was the star for the Springers in goal, as the Springers won 4-1 on penalties.

Shadbolt said one of Kelly’s best skills was saving penalty shots.

He said there was a really even spread of performers across the side.

The Springers second women’s side also won through to the grand final in Metro B west on Saturday.

They defeated RMIT, 3-0.

Shadbolt said there was a 15 minute purple patch late in the first half that did the damage.

The star player was Kelly, who plays on the field in the lower side.

“It was a fairly even game in the second half,” Shadbolt said.

“The game was won and we wanted to get through with no injuries.”

Shadbolt said he was rapt with the result.

“There’s only about four players from last year’s premiership team,” he said.

Both teams have the weekend off, before the grand finals the following week.

It was a good weekend for the Springers as all of their teams won.

The men’s Metro A north west team defeated PEGS 1-0 to win through to a preliminary final.

The men’s Metro B west team defeated Altona 5-2 to also win through to a preliminary final.