MELVILLE City Hockey Club has climbed out of the relegation zone for the first time this season after beating Curtin 3-2 in a tense, scrappy affair at the Perth Hockey Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Melville started the game brightly and seemed in control until another of the defensive lapses that have haunted the side all year led to a Curtin penalty corner, which was converted by import Peter Millar.
Melville continued to press and were gifted a penalty corner through a contentious umpiring decision, which was converted by Matthew Willis.
The score remained 1-1 at half-time.
Melville again had the better of the opening exchanges after the break but their fragile defence again conceded a soft goal to Millar to hand the lead back to Curtin.
Willis then scored Melville’s second from another penalty corner before Justin McDougall got on the scoresheet again, underlining how much Melville missed his presence when he was out with injury for the first half of the season.
Melville coach Russell Lee was more relieved than anything else after the game.
“We now control our fate for the year – no-one wants to go into the relegation playoffs, and a win next week against Guildford will make us safe, and put them in the playoffs,” he said.
“For us to win we will have to improve significantly on our performance today because they will be just as desperate as us.”