Stewart Smith praised a strong passing game and a whole-team effort for The Magpies’ 5-1 win over Pambula in the hockey grand final on Saturday.
“If you watched us warming up you’d think we couldn’t string two passes together, but on the field it’s a different story and that was our strength,” Smith said.
It was Pambula jumping to the lead early and tensions were high, but the Magpies didn’t have to wait too long to get on the board.
“We were one down and I thought here we go again, but it was pleasing to get in front and then stay there,” Smith said.
“It was a great game and a good way to end what was a strong season for us too.”
Kyle Campbell was awarded man of the match, but Smith said he couldn’t single out any player with a fantastic effort throughout the line-up.
Bailey Young showed plenty of pace down the wing, while Troy Johnson was solid through the middle and the Magpies’ backs kept Pambula out of scoring range.
Smith himself featured in a goal, scoring a sly backhand shot off a short corner after the buzzer at half-time.
“It’s a pretty rare occurence, I haven’t scored a goal in about five years,” he said with a laugh.
“Unfortunately Pambula had a few injuries, but we had a great team effort and we’re proud of the boys.”
In the combined A grade final Elders secured a 2-0 win over United after holding a tenuous 1-0 lead until the dying minutes.
“United said at the presentation their aim was to stack their defence and I would say it worked," Elders player Joccoaa Rogers said with a laugh.
The United goalie was awarded player of the match after a stunning display that included keeping out five successive short corner attempts.
Rogers said it was almost unheard of for a team to defend as well as United had done.
Rogers said their had been a hoodoo about going undefeated into the grand final and losing after it happened to Tathra-Bega in the Aussie Rules and Pambula in the soccer.
Rogers said Casey Matthews had played for the Sea Eagles and the pair joked they “had to break the curse”.
Rogers commended her whole team, but said if she had to pick one standout it was Brooke Smith, who worked tirelessly all game.
Earlier games saw Elders secure the B grade premiership in a dominant display, while the Grand Hotel scored a win in the C grade fixture and all teams were commended by organisers.