University have sent a clear message to their competition in the Illawarra Mens Hockey with another impressive performance in the lead up the finals.
The defending premiers proved they’re still the team the beat this season and have backed up their victory over first placed Albion Park last week with a 9-1 demolition of Fairy Meadow.
Momentum hung in the balance during the early stages of the first half with both sides struggling to find any rhythm in attack with a number of turn overs in posession.
Fairy Meadow appeared to be up to the task early on, but came unstuck in the middle of the first half, when they conceded two goals in as many minutes.
This proved to be a pivotal point in the match as Fairy Meadow were never really able to recover from the after shock.
The visitors did briefly give themselves a sniff when Daniel Little got one back for the away side, however they finished the first half in the worst possible way with uni stretching their lead to 3-1 just seconds before the break.
Uni found the momentum they had been looking for in the second half and played with much better and structure and appeared to continually grow in confidence as the match went on and treated the crowd to a goal fest as they completely dominated their opponents.
Captain-coach Simon Beaton felt his side’s performance was particularly ordinary in the first half, but was pleased by their effort in the second half when they scored six unanswered goals to come home with a big win.
“The Performance from our backs and midfield was awesome,” said Beaton.
“The strikers were a little bit disappointing, but they’re getting better,” he added.
Heath Ogilvie, Joe Plumb, Corey Harding and Josh Walters were amongst the goal scorers for the home side, including Beaton himself who scored two goals, his second just moments before full time.
“I think as a team we probably could’ve scored twice as many, but personally it’s always good to score a couple of goals and show the strikers how it’s done,” said Beaton.
Although uni had no trouble scoring goals in the second half, their defence was impressive throughout the match and the players were very happy with their defensive effort.
Uni defender Matt Burke said it was a great defensive effort and was happy to regain some form following a slump in recent weeks.
“Our greatest strength was probably the way we held possession at the back,” said Burke.
“Our defence was solid but I think we need to work on keeping the ball up the front and not giving away too much possession,” he added.