Red-letter day for Southside
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
THERE must be something special in the drinking bottles that the Southside juniors use because it's obviously spurring their hockey players onto greater heights.
In a watershed day for the club on Saturday, the Southside club won all four junior grand finals and then to top off the night for the club, the Southside Sharks booked a place in next week's Mens A grade grand final, where they'll meet club mates and defending champions, Southside Redbacks.
The Sharks lost their opening five matches of the season so their effort to get through to the grand final after that start is a tremendous effort.
Star of the night for the Sharks was Troy Herbert who scored a hat-trick to steer his team over the line and onto the season's climax.
It was the effort of the Southside juniors though that left club officials delighted all afternoon.
Southside secretary Wayne Edwards said that many were still pinching themselves at the club's success on the day and it was the first time he could recall that all the junior titles went to the one club.
"From a club point of view we were absolutely rapt to get all the teams into the grand final but to actually win them all is fantastic," he said.
The most tension-filled match on the junior program was the under-16 girls where the Southside Chiefs overcame the Bellingen Bellas 1-0.
Neither team had scored in the first half and after being unsuccessful with at least half a dozen short corners early in the second half, it looked like the Chiefs weren't ever going to be able to break the deadlock.
That was until a change of tactics occurred.
Emma Pitomarki was pushing the ball in for all the corners but when the winning goal was scored 10 minutes into the second half, instead of simply trying to blast the ball into the back of the net as they had been doing, the Southside girls tried something different.
Pitomarki pushed the ball in and then made a beeline for the near post so the ball could be played to her. She duly scored by sweeping the ball in for a goal.
Southside's Hawks defeated their clubmate Falcons 6-1 in the under-15 boys' grand final; the Demons overcame Urungas Cyclones 2-1 in the under-13 mixed grand final while the Kangaroos were too strong in the under-11's, defeating the Orara Valley Eagles 4-2.