Sport

GVHA grand final | Strikers beat SYC for A men title

By Alex Mitchell

It was as easy as one, two, three for the Shepparton Strikers, claiming yet another Goulburn Valley Hockey Association men's A-grade premiership.

The Strikers made it three straight flags on Saturday, winning a classic encounter 3-2 against the Shepparton Youth Club after trailing 2-0 at half-time.

Two first-half goals from Scorcher Ryan Mackenzie gave his side a firm grasp on the flag, but the Strikers had other plans.

Duncan Moodie pulled the first goal back for the Strikers, Xavier then McBain came up with a clutch finish from a penalty corner for 2-2, before Justin Knott found the title-winning goal.

Strikers' president Tim Russell said his team's effort had been unreal.

"We were rapt, it was a real grind of a victory and great to take our third flag in a row," he said.

"We came back from 2-0 down at half-time and, give the credit to SYC, they came out swinging and put us under the pump from the get-go. It was really pleasing we were able to adjust and grind out a win.

"We got our ball movement back up and tried to force our opposition under the pressure we'd faced in the first half. We got back to our tried and tested game plan that has got us there.

"The guys really kept their heads and didn't feel the pressure. It's not the way you want to start a grand final, but it was great we were able to turn it around."

The Strikers had finished the season on top of the three-team ladder, winning nine of its 10 matches with the only loss a 6-3 defeat at the hands of SYC in round three.

"We've had a really consistent make up of our team, it's been the same group the last couple of years which is really good," Russell said.

"That's enabled us to refine the way we play, and that's coupled with some really good experienced from our more senior players.

"Strikers is a great club, I've been there all my life and we've really been successful."