|What can be said that hasn’t been said already.
What a team, what an effort. The faith that the boys had in themselves, the teamwork that was displayed, in a group of players that are so close knit, the excellence in things hockey, and the tenacity of the team to just keep on going.
In the first minutes the team made it clear they were there to win and not just be part of the grand final. A strong tackle by Nathan to take the ball and run it up to the D to result in a penalty corner in the first 3 minutes. Sadly the strong attacks by our boys did not result in a goal in the first half, 2-0 down at half time.
The desire to get out and get the job done was evident when they came out on to the pitch early for the second half. And that desire paid off. A penalty corner which was so neatly deflected in by Craig hit a foot behind Camberwell keeper George, resulting in a stroke. Nathan made it look easy, and we were 2-1 down, 22 minutes to go. The Camberwell crowd at that point seemed to become quiet, while the Southern crowd was pumped, we seemed ahead on all the stats – except goals. The Southern boys continued to show their brilliance, with brilliance in defence and so many close calls with balls across but no further goal for us. An intercept by Josh Ephraums and some great brotherly team work with a pass to Nathan in the D, with Camberwell keeper indiscretion gave Nathan another stroke taking the score to 2-2 at 6 minutes to go.
Intense does not cover it for those next six minutes. Our penalty corner at 2 minutes to go did not go the way we wanted, with Camberwell runners doing their job too well. In the last minute Camberwell had three circle penetrations brilliantly defended by Rens, and the last one on the buzzer by Joey. TWO ALL.
The track record of the team on penalty shoot outs is good, and they kept up that record. Ed’s composure in goals, and the strength of strikers against the aggressive defence of Camberwell’s keeper. And the premiership is ours.
Congratulations to Nathan Ephraums awarded Best on Ground. To quote Kin Smith on the livestream “you are not allowed be that good” as Nathan running at full stretch, reaches behind for the ball, taps the ball between his own legs and keeps running with the ball. (if you want to see it is at 28:47 to go in the first half).
The work that has gone in to the most incredible week of hockey for Southern United cannot be forgotten. Josh Ephraums as captain of the team acknowledged it so well at the HV awards dinner, at his speech at the presentation and at the after game celebrations. The winner of the men’s premier league competition was Southern United. The boys on the pitch, the coaches and support staff – Jesse, James, Rob, Packo and David, and every other person that has made this possible over the years.
The junior program that has produced 13 of the 16 players on the pitch on Saturday, the people who had the foresight to see what could be achieved, Ross Walker with the Southern United Hockey Academy, the coaches over time of most of these players, Rob Dalton, Jesse Workman, Ross, Michael Pearce, Nathan Gardiner and the list goes on.
And probably one of the most ardent supporters, with a doubt hardest workers and great sponsor Helen. To take a facebook post out of context. Helen all those years of hard work in supporting a club you believe in so much… you are the one person who deserves to hold the premiership cup the highest and the longest! The club owes you a lot of gratitude for getting it to this point. Thank You.
For those that have not seen or heard the livestream, it is worth a watch it to relive the great moment here It is wonderful to listen to the acknowledgement of our amazing talent in both men and women, the hard work by all, and the work put through over the years by Jesse with our men, our juniors and across the whole club.
Photos of the game were taken by Tim Bowman – Thanks Tim, they are awesome. The high resolution photos of those on facebook can be found here
Bring on presentation night where the year can be celebrated. Tickets available here