Thrilling finish provides value for Ipswich club rivals
AFTER the most exciting finish in the annual President's Cup hockey final, both coaches took plenty out of sharing the title.
Wests' co-captain Eden Jackat scored her second field goal with 30 seconds left to salvage a 2-2 draw with Hancock Brothers at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.
Hancocks' coach Mark Eleison was most delighted after his team's recent mixed form.
However, it showed what Hancocks can achieve when back at full strength.
With former Australian Country player Sara Rogers returning from a knee reconstruction, Eleison was able to field his best team this season. Rogers scored Hancocks' second goal in her first game back after Aimee McDermott found the net first.
"We should have won it,'' Eleison said, after watching his team set up a 2-1 advantage against the competition leaders.
"Good luck to them (Wests). We played really well so I was very pleased.
"Sara controlled the middle for us, which then allowed us to move Layla (state player Layla Eleison) and Nat Davison around in the forwards.
"Everyone did their job.''
Wests' mentor Brent Nicholls also found value in having his unbeaten team pushed at this stage of the Ipswich and intercity competition with Toowoomba.
"It was a tough first half,'' Nicholls said, also having a full strength line-up for the match between the top two sides.
"We got a goal and I think we relaxed a bit.
"It just shows that when teams are at full strength it's going to be very even.''
Eleison is excited to see what Hancocks can do leading into the finals once Kelly McNamara, Abby Eleison and Caleisha Harper complete their Ipswich under-18 commitments this weekend.
"Now we're getting the basis of our team together and having those crucial roles by the senior players is good,'' he said.
Nicholls said the main benefit for Wests was making them realise where they are at "in real terms''.
"It gives us the opportunity to try and lift our standard,'' he said.
"Hancocks played really well and it was great to see Sara back out of the field.
"We want to improve and we know where the bar is now.
"We've got to work hard to try and get better.''
The competition-leading Easts' men won their A-Grade mid-season final, with Tim Woodford scoring four goals in the 6-0 win over Hancocks.
Wests won five and drew three of the 12 mid-season finals played on Sunday.
That included success in the D Grade and E Grade girls competition, along with the club's Reserve Grade men and women.
Junior fixtures resume after the school holidays.
State of play
President's Cup finals
A Grade women: Hancock Brothers drew Wests 2-2.
A Grade men: Easts d Hancock Brothers 6-0.
Reserve Grade men: Wests d Hancock Brothers 5-2.
Reserve Grade women: Wests d Thistles/Bellbowrie 4-3.
R2 women: Wests drew Swifts 0-0.
A2 men: Norths White d Norths Red 3-0. A2 women: Bellbowrie drew Thistles 0-0.
C Grade boys: UQ d Norths/Hancocks 6-2. C Grade girls: Bellbowrie drew Wests 0-0.
D Grade boys: Wests d Easts 10-4. D Grade girls: Wests d Thistles 4-1.
E Grade girls: Wests d Thistles 2-1.
E Grade boys final to be played at a later date.