The Tasmanian over-35s men’s hockey team yesterday created history when it defeated Victoria to claim the state’s first national division 1 master’s hockey title.
In a fast-paced final, Tasmania downed Victoria 4-2 in front of a vocal home crowd at the national titles in Hobart.
Fired up after losing to Victoria in the round robin phase, Tasmania was slick, direct and full of run in the opening half that produced three classy goals.
Jonathon Stebbings celebrated his 36th birthday by claiming two goals, with Phil Sargent snaring the third to give the home side a comfortable 3-0 half-time lead.
Victoria hit back with a quick goal, but Tasmania restored its buffer with Sargent grabbing his second goal of the game.
A converted Victorian corner 14 minutes from the end kept the contest alive at 4-2, but Tasmania controlled play as the clock ran down.
For Tasmania, none was better than Sean Carey at left half, who controlled and marshalled the defence all game.
Up front, Tasmania had several strong contributors in Glenn Lucas, Josh Corney and brothers Jonathon and Jeremy Stebbings, who relished playing together again.
After the game, co-captain and coach Stephen McMullen vowed Tasmania would be back next year in Sydney to defend its title.
”The team has bonded fantastically well this week and we’re keen to make sure were not a one-hit wonder, he said, accepting the trophy from national masters co-ordinator Peter Sweeney.
In other action yesterday, the Tasmanian over-40s division 2 side continued its winning run with a 4-2 win against Victoria.
The over-50s division 2 side went down to Queensland 4-0, with the over-55s division 1 side also falling to Queensland 3-1.
In the curtain-raiser to the over-35s final, the over-65s side fought out a nil-all draw against Western Australia.
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