Former Kookaburra seals thrilling win for Souths
HOCKEY: Former Kookaburra Robert Bell converted a penalty stroke after the final hooter to seal victory for his newly adopted club in the A-grade season opener on Saturday.
Southern Suburbs defeated Frenchville Rovers 4-3 in a tight contest at Kalka Shades.
Frenchville were first on the scoreboard as Jarrod Bass slotted the first of his two goals.
Souths player/coach Nathan Christensen, who was sidelined with injury, said the teams went goal for goal before they were locked at 3-all with five minutes left on the clock.
"We kept pushing hard for the win and got a penalty corner right on full-time,” he said.
"We got a penalty stroke from that which Robert Bell slotted after the hooter.
"Getting a win to start the season is a good thing.
"I didn't know what to expect for the first game of the season.
"We had a couple of players away and a few out injured but I was fairly confident in the team we fielded and we got the job done.”
Souths' next opponents are reigning champions Wanderers, who cruised to an 11-nil win over Park Avenue Brothers.
Christensen believes that at full strength, Souths definitely have the players "to have a really good crack this year”.
He said the addition of Bell, who played seven games for the Kookaburras in 2016 and has been a regular in the Queensland Blades, was a coup for the club.
"It brings some excitement to the team, and it's something the young blokes can feed off,” he said.
"It also takes the pressure off some of the other senior players when you can spread the load around a bit more.”
Christensen said Bell showed his class on Saturday, scoring two goals and proving a tower of strength in defence.
He said Brock Christensen and Stuart Gould, who both made their A-grade debuts, stepped up and played well.
In the women's competition, Frenchville Rovers beat Southern Suburbs 2-1, while Wanderers and Park Avenue Brothers played out a nil-all draw.
- A1 men: Southern Suburbs 4 (Robert Bell 2, Steven Snell, Ryan Knowles) d Frenchville Rovers 3 (Jarrod Bass 2, Lachlan Sisley); Wanderers 11 (Regan Weatherhead 4, Todd Harmsworth 3, Aaron Thompson 2, Clayton Evans, Dylan Plummer) d Park Avenue Brothers 0
- A1 women: Frenchville Rovers 2 (Ebonee Moffat, Jess Misso) d Southern Suburbs 1 (Melissa Dobs); Wanderers V Park Avenue Brothers nil-all