Sunshine and Stardom as Camberwell Win Two Home Premier League Finals
It was a day for the history & record books at Matlock Reserve as Camberwell hosted not one but two Premier League home finals in a row, bookended by our men’s and women’s Pennant A teams.
While it may have been the last day of winter, the Melbourne weather was really playing it’s part, with relatively warm sunshine all day long as the crowd began to build strong and early for our men’s Pennant A team, who took the field at 11:30AM against Doncaster Hockey Club.
A solid performance from MPA delivered a comfortable 5-2 win, and sent them into their 9th grand final in a row, where they’ll battle it out against the winner of Doncaster and Hawthorn in search of an 8th consecutive title.
Meanwhile over in Ascot Vale, the men’s Pennant B side were 2-0 down against Essendon HC, but mounting an impressive comeback. Two goals in as many minutes right at the end of the first half brought the game to a shootout, which they promptly won with an impressive one-on-one from Lachlan Avil (above).
Over at H-2, Camberwell’s men’s Pennant C team were busy dismantling Southern United 4-1, booking a place in the round two preliminary final in the process. Congratulations to this team avoiding elimination, progressing to play Doncaster Hockey Club this Saturday away at 12PM.
For some of the players, it was their first taste of Premier League finals hockey, however, all players sustained the pressure and rose to the occasion. Overcoming a shock early goal to TEM off a penalty corner in the third minute, the team fought back and dominated most of the play for the remainder of the match.
Back at Matlock Reserve, our women’s Premier League side were warming up and getting ready to play TEM in a must win elimination final. Furthermore, this was the first of two home Premier League finals for the day, something we have not seen in the top flight of Victorian hockey in recent memory. The last time these two teams met it was TEM who came out victorious, but that wasn’t to happen today. Despite the away side taking an early 1-0 lead, as the crowd continued to grow, Camberwell found extra resolve, slotting two second half goals and then defending their lead well to come out 2-1 victors. Awesome work to the girls who now go on to play Mentone in a semi final this Saturday at 12PM on S-1.
Next up, our men’s Premier League were set to take on Waverley in a rematch of last week’s Bert Batch Cup. After such a tight and riveting game last week, the anticipation hung heavy in the air as the crowd gathered to see if our MPL could go straight into the preliminary final, avoiding the scenic route we had to take last season. The answer was a resounding yes. Our boys had perfected a well executed game plan from the week before, and used it to put Waverley to the sword with a 7-0 demolition in front of the largest home crowd of the season.
A decisive victory for Camberwell’s MPL finding some exciting form at the start of a tough but exciting finals series
Over at the University sandpit, our Pennant D men were doing battle with Melbourne Uni, in a similar situation to our Premier League having played the same team the week before. Unfortunately for them, the result did not change with the week, and they went down 2-0. Thankfully though, their top two finish affords them a second chance this weekend against Footscray, as they look to book their sixth grand final place in seven years.
Camberwell’s last match for Saturday took place right after MPL, as our women’s Pennant A side took the night-shift match facing Hawthorn under lights in a 3 v 4 elimination final. Despite Camberwell’s best efforts and an early 1-0 lead, it was Hawthorn who’d walk away with the win, scoring five goals over the next 60 minutes or so, marking the end of 2019 for our Camberwell WPA. Congratulations on a great season girls, enjoy the time off over the next couple of months.
Sunday brought with it even more hockey, but only half as much sunshine. Thankfully for our women’s Premier League Reserves, they got that half. Playing an afternoon match against Mentone, Camberwell were keen to progress straight to the preliminary final after a strong season finishing first. Despite their best efforts, and what felt like all of the play in the second half, an early score to Mentone was all that they needed to take the W. Camberwell now face Waverley this Sunday, 2PM at the State Hockey Centre in an elimination final as they look to keep their season alive.
After the WPLR match, it was time for our women’s Metro B girls to take to the field. Despite coming into the competition late, it’s been a very successful year for our Metro women, who finished the home and away season with nine wins and one loss. The smiles continued on Sunday afternoon, as our WMBS defeated Monash Uni 2-0 to progress straight into the grand final on the 14th of September, becoming Camberwell’s third senior team to book a spot in the big dance in the first week.
The last match of the weekend fell right as the rain did, at 4PM on H-1. Camberwell’s men’s Premier League team were set to do battle against TEM, in a qualifying final to decide who would progress to the preliminary, and who would have to fight it out in the semi final this week. Unfortunately for Camberwell, that team would be us, after losing in a shootout after a tight match in very wet conditions (FT 1-1, SO 5-4). Camberwell will next face Hawthorn in an elimination final at the lovely time of 6PM on Sunday night at SNHC-1.
Overall a very successful weekend of finals hockey for Camberwell Hockey Club’s senior sides. Three teams going straight through to the grand final, and only one team eliminated out of a total of ten. Amazing work everyone, I’m sure you’re all looking forward to backing it up this weekend as much as I am.