Caroline Springs capped off a remarkable debut season, with not one but two premierships on Saturday in Hockey Victoria’s winter competition.
The club’s women’s F-grade pennant and metro B north-west teams claimed premierships on Saturday, straight after each other at Footscray.
Women’s coach Ron Shadbolt said it was quite amazing the instant success they had achieved.
“They’ve all taken on the challenge,” he said.
“They love their hockey and most have been coaching the juniors as well. It’s a very proactive group of ladies.
“Our president and our captain Laura Brown said in her speech, it had been a hard year with all the work we’ve done behind the scenes, but a rewarding year.”
The club’s top women’s side F-grade pennant, had a fight on its hands in its grand final against Gippsland Bulls.
Caroline Springs entered the match hoping to go through the season undefeated.
Shadbolt said early on, they looked anything but the team which had been dominant all season.
“We started in the worst manner possible and after 10 minutes we were 2-0 down,” he said. “The Bulls went through us with ease and scored easily.
“The defence was in chaos. We were missing a player who couldn’t play and they exploited that.”
Caroline Springs got one goal before half-time, to enter the break 2-1. Shadbolt said they had a real honest conversation at half-time.
The talk worked, with Caroline Springs responding, to win 5-2.
“It took 15 minutes to get the game under control and play the way we wanted. To win 5-2 was spectacular.”
Brittany Webster scored twice for Caroline Springs, with Narelle Shadbolt, Aimee Jungfer and Laura Brown all scoring one goal.
Narelle Shadbolt and Melissa Lake were Caroline Springs’ best, standing strong especially when the side struggled early on. Aimee Jungfer showed glimpses of her talent, with a spectacular 15-minute period.
The B north-west side also had to battle to get the win, in a low scoring match. Caroline Springs got the lead early on and managed to hold on 1-0.
“It was an exceptionally tight game,” Shadbolt said. “We scored 10 minutes into the first half from a really good team set-up.
“We then lost one of our better players with a knee injury. It brought us back to the pack.”
Jessica Spence scored Caroline Springs’ goal.
Shadbolt said Mel Cashen was clearly best on the field, while Randeep Reetu and Kathy Jungfer both had good games.
Shadbolt said both sides would be regraded and promoted next season, with the possibility of going up several grades.