TAXING DAY: Hancock Brothers coach Phil McLeod watches the first of his two teams in Saturday's Ipswich grand finals.
TAXING DAY: Hancock Brothers coach Phil McLeod watches the first of his two teams in Saturday's Ipswich grand finals. Rob Williams

Magic efforts carry mates to winning level

HAVING offered to help out this season, Hancocks coach Phil McLeod knew his team could win the grand final.

"They are a very very close team and I think that just showed in the end,'' McLeod said after Saturday night's 6-4 A Grade hockey win over Wests.

"They are all great mates and they did as I told them to just go out there and play for each other, and tonight that's what they did.

"They were a little bit disappointed we conceded a couple of late goals but they had no doubt they were going to win tonight.''

A hat-trick by dual registered player Adam McClelland proved the difference, along with captain Nathan Smith's tremendous work igniting the Hancocks' attack.

"Adam was magic,'' McLeod said.

"He really helped us a lot and his experience in the midfield is what helps carry the rest of the team.''

 

Hancock Brothers players rush in to celebrate one of Adam McClelland's three goals in Saturday night's A Grade hockey grand final win.
Hancock Brothers players rush in to celebrate one of Adam McClelland's three goals in Saturday night's A Grade hockey grand final win. Rob Williams

McLeod hinted veteran goalkeeper Stu Darby may have played his last A Grade game after another inspired performance.

However, McLeod was excited about the future for the team. "I've been talking to the boys for the last few weeks to find out their intentions and I'm pretty sure that they are all going to be back and we've got some other guys who want to come back to us as well,'' he said.

But McLeod said he'd decide his coaching future in the off-season.

"I'm non-committal,'' McLeod said as he tidied up the team dressing room following a big day.

"I've been doing it for five straight years and doing two teams this year has taken a toll on me, no doubt about that.''

His Reserve Grade team lost a nailbiting thriller 3-2 to Wests earlier in the day.

Overall, McLeod was pleased with the club's senior hockey recovery after struggling for some years.

"When I followed my nephew over here, it's a really pleasing aspect to get them up, trying to play solid, clean hockey and I feel that's what they are doing. And I'm really rapt for them.''



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