GOALSCORER: Souths co-captain Aleesha Spyve keeps control of the ball.
GOALSCORER: Souths co-captain Aleesha Spyve keeps control of the ball. Meg Bolton

Souths get over the line in thrilling A1 women's final

HOCKEY: It was anyone's game in the first quarter as Wanderers and Southern Suburbs went head-to-head in the A1 women's grand final at Kalka Shades on Saturday night.

A penalty goal to Souths co-captain Aleesha Spyve got the ball rolling and it wasn't until five minutes into the third quarter that Wanderers returned fire with a goal of their own.

Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve
Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve Meg Bolton

However the scores didn't remain even for long when Souths' Alex Buckly found the net through a deflection.

The 2-1 scoreline remained unchanged and saw Souths walk away as champions.

Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve
Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve Meg Bolton

An ecstatic Spyve said the team was happy to be able to secure the one-goal buffer and take it to the final siren.

For Spyve, the game was won through the linking and passing of the Souths team.

Hockey, Souths Lillian Elder and Wanderers T.Chirio
Hockey, Souths Lillian Elder and Wanderers T.Chirio Meg Bolton

"We had a lot of trust in each other and we were all playing really well together,” she said.

"Everyone played really well, it was a good, tough game between both sides.”

Hockey, Souths Shareena Bouna
Hockey, Souths Shareena Bouna Meg Bolton

She said the team made few changes from the regular season into finals, saying "we were pretty much the same team all the way through.”

Spyve said some of the team would now be moving to an indoor hockey season in hopes of strengthening the bonds in the already cohesive team.

Wanderers' Demi Chellingsworth was more analytical in defeat and said the result was disappointing but commended the efforts of her team.

Hockey, Souths Shareena Bouna
Hockey, Souths Shareena Bouna Meg Bolton

"It's always hard to lose a grand final but I was impressed with the girls' efforts,” she said.

"I think we did put out a strong performance - probably not our best - but it was a great effort and I was happy with it.”

Chellingsworth said it was a lack of intensity in the first and third quarters that allowed Souths to overpower them and score vital goals.

Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve
Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve Meg Bolton

"We lacked a bit of linking coming out of defence,” she said.

"It really put a bit of pressure on our defence when they turned the ball over, and it was too hard to score from there.”

Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve and Wanderers T. Wheeler .jpg
Hockey, Souths, Aleesha Spyve and Wanderers T. Wheeler .jpg Meg Bolton

Overall, Chellingsworth said the Wanderers season went better than expected and the improvements were out of sight.

"The girls have really improved over the season and I think that we are definitely not the same team we were at the start of the season,” she said.

Hockey, Wanderers T Wheeler.
Hockey, Wanderers T Wheeler. Meg Bolton

The battle weary Wanderers' eyes are already set on next season and the improvements that will need to be made.

"We need to work on our transitions out of defence,” she said.

"We will need to work on using our opportunities, because we had plenty of corners that we probably should have capitalised on, so I think we need to work on that next year.”

Hockey, Souths Kylie Scott defends the goal
Hockey, Souths Kylie Scott defends the goal Meg Bolton