DESERVED BREAK: Wests goal-scorer Damien Goodwin (seated) enjoys a drink while teammates cheer the Magpies to victory in Saturday’s A-grade elimination final at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
DESERVED BREAK: Wests goal-scorer Damien Goodwin (seated) enjoys a drink while teammates cheer the Magpies to victory in Saturday’s A-grade elimination final at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Rob Williams

No.3 plays key role in return of the Magpies

WEARING shirt number three, hockey journeyman Damien Goodwin fittingly scored a decisive goal in the third minute.

Aged 38, the experienced campaigner showed he can still match the younger players in the Ipswich A-grade competition.

His early goal also laid the foundation for Wests' progression into this weekend's preliminary final against Easts."It's probably one of the best games we've played this year," Goodwin said after Wests' 6-2 elimination final victory over Hancocks.

"We've had a few injuries but all the players came together and now we're working well."

Goodwin is a former Brisbane competition and Bellbowrie player and coach who represented Queensland Country before joining Wests six years ago.

He typified the renewed focus Wests displayed in their do-or-die victory on Saturday.

A week after losing 7-3 to the same team, the premiership- starved Magpies turned it on to keep their grand final hopes alive.

"We were switched on. Our warm-up went well," Goodwin said. "Everyone was gelling."

In a confidence-boosting performance, six Wests players scored at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

"I'm still feeling all right," Goodwin said, in his second final series with Wests.

"I've got a few goals this year.

"I've played a few in Brisbane and won them. It will be a good feeling for the young lads as well."

Joining Goodwin on the goal list were Andrew Horrocks, Greg Walker, George Clutton, Pat Krusi and Brent Nicholls.

Peter Mitchell and Charlie Davies scored consolation goals for Hancocks.

Although Hancocks were missing dangerous duo Adam McClelland (overseas) and Jens Christensen (Brisbane commitments), Wests were without skilful defender Jarrod Brown (injured mouth and jaw).

"We've worked on what we had to work on," Goodwin said.

"They've beaten us the last three times and scored well against us.

"This time, we had a game plan, we stuck to it."

Goodwin praised player/coach Todd Watson and classy recruit Clutton for helping lift Wests at the right time of the season. Krusi was dangerous in attack.

"We just went back to what we do best," Watson said, admitting his team had a rethink after losing 7-3 a week earlier.

"We went to a better structure and it worked for us."

Wests will meet Easts in Sunday's preliminary final at 5pm after the Tigers lost 2-1 to Norths in the major semi-final.

The defending premiers made a late comeback to qualify for another grand final on September 14.



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