Caroline Springs fell short of a third straight premiership, losing to PEGS in the Hockey Victoria Vic League 2 women’s grand final.
Having exceeded expectations and making the grand final this year, the Springers were hoping to cause an upset against the favourites.
The Springers were right in the game until half-time, before PEGS stepped it up a level.
Two second half goals for PEGS sealed the 3-1 win.
Springers vice-president Ron Shadbolt said the 3-1 scoreline was reflective of the game.
He said it was a highly skilled, good-spirited game.
“The game was fairly even in the first half,” he said. “We scored the first goal by Brittany Webster. It was a stroke after play coming up the right side.
“It was good team play and it was a pretty high standard goal.
“About two to three minutes left in the first half, we conceded a short corner and it was 1-1 at half-time.
“They did get on top in the third quarter and had some really good speedy play which put some of our players out of position.
“They were a little bit stronger in the midfield.”
Despite not being able to make it three premierships in a row, Shadbolt said they were thrilled with how the season had panned out.
It’s just the second season the club has been in Vic League 2.
“The women should be pretty pleased,” he said. “It was 50 per cent different team from last year, so we were happy to just make the four.
“To make the grand final, we’re over the moon. We might have played our grand final the week before.
“We left nothing on the pitch.”
Shadbolt, who had coached the women’s side in their first two years, said Beau Kelly had done a really good job coaching the side this year.
He said the biggest focus this year had been building depth at the club and trying to close the gap between their top two sides.
“Development as a whole was the goal for this year,” he said. “We had some players go down into our reserves and help develop players.
“Some were playing their first VL grand final on Sunday. I think it was four and they would have learned a lot.
“They tasted the high end of the grade and they understand what is required.”
Even though the season has just finished, Shadbolt said some of those players on and off the pitch were already thinking about next year.
“Some women are already talking about next year,” he said.