Swifts enjoy double celebration
VALUABLE Swifts recruit Selena Tainton celebrated her two-goal haul and latest team victory with some post game birthday cake.
It was a fitting way to leave the Ipswich Hockey Complex dressing room after birthday girl Amanda Stacey also received a hearty cheer following Swifts' 4-0 win over Hancock Brothers.
With both teams battling for second spot behind runaway competition leaders Wests, Saturday night's A Grade result kept last year's grand final runners-up well in finals' contention.
"It was a very good win,'' Tainton said acknowledging that Hancocks were below full strength without regulars Layla Eleison (injured) and exciting duo Abby Eleison and Kelly McNamara (Met West duty).
"You've always got to capitalise so getting 4-0 puts us second on the table so that's very good for us.''
Striker Tainton scored Swifts' third and fourth goals in the second half to seal the victory.
Ever reliable defender Bridget McLean nailed an early penalty corner before Cara Shaw was on the spot to put the Bluebirds up 2-0.
In her second season with Swifts, Tainton is dual registered with South West United in the Brisbane Division 2 competition along with Swifts' goalkeeper Michelle Mabsout.
"I had a bye this weekend so lots of energy for this game,'' Tainton said.
She's happy to be helping last year's grand finalists challenge again.
"I'm absolutely enjoying it,'' the Brisbane-based Indooroopilly State High School teacher said.
"It's just a fantastic team so I'm very pleased.
"We have an awesome coach (Megan Bool) so very lucky to be here.''
Bool said Tainton was a welcome addition, invited to join Swifts by Mabsout.
"She's playing some amazing hockey and she was a standout tonight,'' Bool said. "She's been a really good asset for us up front.''
Although finishing second for the final series would be a bonus for last year's grand final runners-up, Bool was more focused on playing "some good quality hockey''.
"It's always good to get a few goals,'' she said.
"We struggled in that in the first bit of the season - scoring the goals and shutting out teams - so it was nice to continue in the second half and come away with a pretty solid win.''
With Wests dominating the women's competition, Bool said Swifts "just want to get to the semis like we did last year''.
Swifts finished the 2016 regular season in fourth.
"Last year was a good indicator that you don't have to be in first or second place to get to the final so I think that gave us a lot of confidence coming into this year,'' Bool said.
"Even if things aren't perfect and going the way we want, we can get there in the end.''
The team enjoyed Saturday night's win with a happy birthday chant for Stacey and some cup cakes provided by McLean.
It was a mixed night for Stacey who landed heavily on her left shoulder in the first half following a collision with Hancocks keeper Shahna Hamment.
As Hamment soldiered on, Stacey was wisely rested after having ice applied to the injury.
Despite her setback, Stacey was all smiles, appreciative of the team's birthday gesture.
In the other A Grade women's games, former Australian striker Amy Kickbusch added another five goals to her growing tally in Wests' 10-1 win over Toowoomba Red Lion.
Bellbowrie lost 3-0 to Toowoomba Rangeville and Norths Ipswich drew 2-2 with Toowoomba Past High.
In the men's A Grade competition, leaders Easts thrashed Wests 7-0, Hancocks beat Toowoomba Past High 4-0 and Norths Ipswich lost to their Too- woomba counterparts 3-0.