MELVILLE City men’s march towards the State Hockey League finals continued with a 5-2 win in an at times spiteful contest with local rivals Fremantle on Sunday afternoon.
Melville’s fifth consecutive win leaves it clear in third spot on the ladder with three games remaining.
Both teams came into the game on the back of a run of four wins and needing another victory to maintain their respective finals chances.
With confidence high on both sides, a quick start was essential.
Melville got the scoring underway through a penalty corner conversion by Matthew Willis in the eighth minute, followed by a field goal 10 minutes later to Justin McDougall.
Fremantle got one back five minutes later, but a second penalty corner conversion by Willis meant City took a comfortable 3-1 advantage into half time.
Fremantle was awarded a dubious penalty stroke immediately after the restart and duly converted, but a second goal to McDougall and another to Ryan Hyder made the scoreline comfortable through a second half that was marred by some spiteful tackles as the game slipped away from Freo.
Coach Russell Lee said it was a good win against one of the form teams in the competition.
“Fremantle always play a strong, physical brand of hockey and I thought we stuck to our plans and didn’t let the physical side take us away from what we wanted to do,” he said.
“We still have a lot to do but that was a very important win.”