WA Diamonds win third consecutive AHL title
05 Apr 2008 12:11
The SmokeFree WA Diamonds have won the AHL championship for the third straight year after an impressive victory against the OAMPS Queensland Scorchers at this afternoon's AHL championship match.
SmokeFree WA Diamonds – OAMPS Queensland Scorchers 2-0
Goals - Munro 50m FG, Halliday 65m PC
Coincidently, each of their last three championship wins has been against the Scorchers.
The first half played out as an even contest worthy of the two sides meeting in the championship match.
Both teams had their chances to put the all important first score on the board.
While Queensland had several more penalty attempts, the Diamonds defense was functioning well, denying all scoring attempts and providing a lot of rebound to set up their forward attacks.
WA veteran Hope Munro was again active up forward for the Diamonds however she was unable to convert a shot in the circle after an impressive steal from teammate Kim Walker.
After a goalless first half WA continued their attack after half time as the Queensland defense found itself under constant pressure.
Despite the good work of Angie Lambert and the Scorchers defenders, the persistence of the WA forwards eventually paid off with the dangerous Munro getting the Diamonds on the board 15 minutes into the second half.
It appeared as though Queensland had produced an immediate response only minutes later when the Diamonds defense was caught out on the left side of the circle. However an impressive save from the WA goalkeeper ensured the Diamonds maintained their lead.
The constant pressure from the Diamonds continued and with key players Kobie McGurk, Hope Munro and Kim Walker all contributing it seemed only a matter of time before WA scored a second goal.
They came close after a diving shot from Hockeyroos Shelly Liddelow skidded just over the top of the goal at the 55 minute mark.
However the second goal was inevitable, with captain Emily Halliday sealing the victory at the 65m mark with a direct shot on goal following a penalty corner earned by Munro.
In other matches played today the Canberra Strikers claimed third spot at the championship after defeating the highly fancied NSW, the Southern Suns defeated the Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons and the Victorian Vipers salvaged something out of their AHL campaign by defeating the NT Pearls for 7th position.
Kobie McGurk was named player of the match.
1. SmokeFree WA Diamonds
2. OAMPS Queensland Scorchers
3. Canberra Strikers
4. NSW Arrows
5. Southern Suns
6. Wrest Point Tassie Van Demons
7. Victorian Vipers
8. NT Pearls
Source: Hockey Australia