Blues bowled over 

BOTH first grade premierships hung in the balance until the season’s final seconds.
Nanjing Night Net

The Fireflys men’s line-up secured a third Goulburn Hockey Association title in four seasons with a gripping 3-2 win over minor premiers, North Blues.

The women’s first grade decider was every bit as prolific.

Taralga on Saturday overturned a 1-0 deficit en route to a 2-1 double extra-time victory.

In total, the Fireflys scored three grand finals from six attempts on Saturday. The open men’s success was iced with 2-0 victory to the Flys’ second tier side and a 7-0 hiding courtesy of the club’s under 13s outfit.

Both top division deciders lived up to pre-match hype. The North Blues came agonisingly close to exacting revenge from an 8-0 whitewash to the same opponent in the 2012 grand final.

Aided by the return of internationals Daniel McPherson, Aaron Kershaw and Todd Devlin, the men in red and white notched the narrowest of victories.

Captain-coach Steve Downey stepped up to the mark deep into the second period of extra time.

He coolly slotted a penalty attempt, handing the Flys back-to-back premierships and again breaking North Blue hearts.

“One of the hardest grand finals I have played in.

“Thanks to the Blues for a great game,” Fireflys defender Scott Grant wrote on Facebook moments after fulltime.

“Up the mighty red and whites. A gutsy win boys, now let’s party.”

Earlier Jake Humphries and Aaron Kershaw netted goals for the victors while Andrew Grandovskis and Daniel Fleming scored for the runners-up.

Like both first grade deciders, the men’s second division play-off was a beauty.

Goals to Joel Bowden, Jono Gann, Rob Naismith and Adam Toole handed the Colts a free-flowing 4-2 win over the North Blues – a line-up comprising plenty of young guns and a few old heads.

Geoff Selmes and Nathan Chambers kept the underdogs in the hunt with goals. Ultimately, the Colts’ experience prevailed.

A Jake Staines’ first half hat-trick set the tone for the Drifters’ 7-4 under 17s grand final triumph.

The Drifters overcame an early setback in the form of a Kurt Devlin goal on their way to a premiership.

Lachlan Lewis and Damon Deaton bagged doubles and Ben Staines, Sam Coogan and Blake Shirvington one each.

OUT OF MY WAY: North Blues midfielder Aaron Dooley is knocked off balance as Jake Humphries shoots for goal. Photo: Darryl Fernance.

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