Hume Hockey Club has made a habit of doing things the hard way in the Hockey Victoria men’s Metro B north-west finals – and the grand final was no different.
After finishing fourth, the Highlanders won their first two finals via penalty shoot-outs, setting up a grand final against Footscray.
Footscray had the wood on Hume in the regular season and having lost just one game for the year, was clear favourite to take the flag.
That meant little to Hume on Saturday, and it had taken a 3-2 lead at half-time.
Footscray fought back to tie scores 5-5 at the end of regular time.
The two teams couldn’t be separated in extra time so, like its other two finals, Hume would need to rely on a penalty shoot-out.
Hume drew on the experience of the previous two weeks to win the shoot-out 3-2, along the way claiming the overall win and premiership, 8-7.
Hume’s Hayden Whitten said making finals was a massive achievement in what has turned out to be a dream debut season for the club.
The club had previously been under the banner of Craigieburn Hockey Club, but had been predominantly run by Hockey Victoria, and didn’t play any formal matches.
Whitten said the manner that they had won all their finals was quite remarkable, considering they had been underdogs in all three matches.
A premiership was completely unexpected.
“Our goalie and president Paul [Bissett] loves it when it comes to one-on-ones,” Whitten said.
“It was massive to get to the grand final. It’s been absolutely fantastic and a bit daunting.
“We did say at the start of the year, to make finals would be a massive effort.
“The odds were against us in each of the finals.”
Hume started with one team, but it became two teams midway through the season.
United Khalsa Hockey Club, which was also based in Craigieburn, looked like folding after internal issues but Hockey Victoria gave the club an ultimatum – either join another club or cease to exist.
After conversations with their neighbours, they joined Hume and became the Hume second team.
The second team finished the season in third spot – knocked out of the finals by the other Hume side.
Whitten said the new players had fitted well into the club and the club was thrilled to have them involved.
With the success of its first year, Hume is already looking ahead to next season.
Whitten said there were plans to add more teams to the club.
“We’re hoping to submit women’s and junior teams,” he said.
“We had two women play in our side this season, but they’d love to have their own team.
“We’ve had juniors at the club, but haven’t had enough players to form a team.”
For more pictures of the final, CLICK HERE