Little to separate Wolves and Hale in women’s hockey grand final

Stock image.
Stock image.

THE grand final of the Hockey WA Women’s Premier Grade will be held at Perth Hockey stadium at 4pm on Saturday, when minor premiers Westside Wolves meet Hale playing in their first grand final.

In the regular season there was little to choose between the two teams. Both finished the season on 35 points, as did Suburban Lions.

Both teams had the same amount of wins, draws and losses; the only point of difference was that Wolves simply scored more goals.

Hale have had to make their way to the grand final the hard way, having to overcome both Victoria Park and Suburban Lions, which they did 3-1 and 4-1 respectively. Wolves progressed directly to the final courtesy of a 2-0 win over Suburban Lions, preventing them making it two grand finals in two years.

Both recorded victories over each other in the regular season in matches that saw 16 goals scored. This may indicate a final full of goals, which may well be the case, as both sides love to attack.

However, looking at the form coming into the grand final, Wolves have kept four clean sheets in their past four games, when prior to this run they had only managed one shut-out all season.

Hale, on the other hand, has failed to stop an opponent scoring all season.

Wolves Elly Buckley was once again amongst the highest goal scorers in the League, with 18 goals in 18 games, and will clearly be a threat, as will her sister and captain Jemma.

Former Hockeyroos player Ashlea Fey has chimed in with nine goals in 13 games and will be a threat from penalty corners, while the possible inclusion of current Hockeyroos Rebecca Greiner and Rosie Malone just adds to Wolves firepower in attack.

Hale have the inspirational and reliable Madonna Blyth marshalling their midfield and the former Hockeyroos captain will be a vital cog and calming influence in a young side heading into unknown territory.

They too will be looking to their international players to inspire those around them – the likes of Hockeyroos Emma Chalker, Mariah Williams and Sophie Taylor, as well as South African Line Malan. Other key players will be the Tasmanian due of Tayla Britton and Fiona Cock.

Wolves have been here before and are the most decorated side in the Premier Grade with 14 premierships, the last being in 2015. Many of their players have been here before. They will be hoping that that experience will pay dividends.

Hale was promoted to the Premier Grade only in 2017 and they will be hoping that this is the season this group of players make club history and carve their name into the record books by delivering a first premiership.

Catch all the live action of the Women’s Premier One Grand Final 2019 here.