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Victoria Vikings remain on top of AHL
26 Feb 2008 10:27
 

The Victorian Vikings have continued their good form on day two of the men's AHL tournament to remain on top of the competition ladder after a convincing win against the MIA Tassie Tigers.

Results AHL day one and two:

Victorian Vikings – Northpharm NT Stingers 6-0 (3-0)
OAMPS Queensland Blades – Southern Hotshots 2-1 (2-0)
SmokFree WA Thundersticks – NSW Waratahs 5-0 (2-0)
MIA Tassie Tigers - Canberra Labor Club Lakers 2-0 (1-0)
OAMPS Queensland Blades – NSW Waratahs 3-2 (0-2)
Canberra Labor Club Lakers – Southern Hotshots 6-3 (3-2)
Victorian Vikings – MIA Tassie Tigers 6-2 (3-1)
SmokeFree WA Thundersticks – Norhtpharm NT Stingers 3-0 (3-0)

Home team the Canberra Labor Club Lakers gave their home crowd something to cheer about after recording their first win of the tournament after a hard fought win against the Southern Hotshots.

The OAMPS Queensland Blades continued their quest to become the first team in men's AHL to win three championships in a row after a come from behind victory against the NSW Waratahs who are still yet to register their first victory of the tournament.

In the final match of the day the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks defeated the Norhtpharm NT Stingers.

The Victorian Vikings Luke Doerner continued his fine for at the AHL tournament after two half goals helped the Vikings secure a 5-2 victory over the MIA Tassie Tigers.

Doerner was also instrumental in the Vikings third goal, in the 25th minute, when he hit the ball onto striker, Travis Brooks' stick who off loaded to Alistair McLennan. McLennan then deflected the ball around the keeper and into the goal.

However prior to the Vikings third goal the MIA Tassie Tigers made their way onto the scoreboard in the 24th minute when Paul Ancher followed up some nice stick work from striker Geoff Cock.

It took the Vikings two minutes to add to their goal tally after half time half time when Andrew Smith got the ball in the Tigers 25 and hit to fellow Viking Daniel Mirecki for the finishing touches and the Vikings fourth goal.

Three minutes later the Tigers scored their second goal via another Paul Ancher field goal to make the score 4-2.

The Vikings added their final goal two minutes from full time when Josh Pollard crossed beautifully for Aaron Kleinschmidt to drag the keeper and hit an exquisite back stick shot high into the goals.

While the Vikings eventually cruised to victory defending champions, the OAMPS Queensland Blades didn't have that luxury after a tense come from behind win against the NSW Waratahs.

Three second half goals to the Blades ensured that the game was going to be theirs but not after a few shaky moments early in the first half.

The Waratahs took the lead in the 28th minute when after some beautiful teamwork, Brent Livermore took the ball into the Blades defensive circle and fired the ball at Blades goalkeeper Stephen Lambert. The shot was blocked but Livermore's second attempt hit the foot of a hapless Queensland defender and a stroke was called.

Livermore Expertly put the ball low and hard to Lambert's stick side as the keeper lunged the wrong way and the Waratahs rejoiced their first tournament goal.

Things got even better for NSW who scored four minutes later after some scintillating lead up work from experienced campaigners Brent Livermore and Mark Patterson as they combined to give Troy Sutherland a back shot hit to make the scores 2-0.

After the break the Queenslanders attacked with great vigour and hammered the NSW defensive lines.

After some close calls Mark Patterson was delivered a green card after the umpire deemed his desperate sliding tackle to be dangerous.

This challenged Queensland into action and four minutes later Nathan Eglington outplayed Livermore and off loaded the ball to co-captain Troy Elder. Elder then crossed the ball to a diving Jamie Dwyer who deflected the ball into the back of the goals.

The second Queensland goal came at the 61 minute mark from a penalty corner thanks to the clever work of Liam De Young.

The winning goal from Queensland was a piece of individual brilliance by standout performer Troy Elder who dragflicked the ball into the top right corner, beating the NSW goalkeeper in the dying minutes to inflict a heartbreaking victory for the NSW team who looked likely to record an upset against the highly fancied Queensland team.

The ACT home crowd were delighted to see the Canberra Labor City Lakers record their first victory of the tournament after a high scoring match against the Southern Hotshots.

In an exciting display of attack young midfielder Glenn Turner scored a remarkable hat-trick, all starting with a brilliant short corner goal from Seyi Onitiri who hit past the South Australian keeper, Kent Haigh's feet in the first minute of the game.

In the 17th minute the Lakers were at it again when Iain Davidson pivoted just metres off the backline and slotted the ball to the left hand side of the goalie for a great goal.

The Hotshots joined in the goal scoring with Tom Cleghorn finishing some impressive work by Eugene Magee and Peter Kelly.

With only four minutes remaining in the half the Hotshots scored their second off Greg Reece who raised a drag by team mate Peter Kelly over the diving ACT keeper.

The Hotshots were silenced shortly after however as the Lakers went straight back to the lead two minutes form the end of the half after Glenn Turner hit his first goal off a brilliant individual effort from Ben Bishop lasting nearly 50 metres.

Turner's second came four minutes onto the other side of the break where an astonishing backhand touch from Daniel Hotchkis, allowed Turner to run onto the ball and drag around the keeper for an easy goal. The third came from his own stick just two minutes later as he dispossessed of a Hotshot defender, accelerated into the circle and hit through the keeper's legs to complete his hat-trick.

The Lakers' Daniel Hotchkis converted a minute later after he gathered a remarkable overhead by captain Josh Hawes, combined well with this brother Mathew Hotchkis before promptly hitting home the back stick shot.

In the final match of the day the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks handed the Northpharm NT Stringers their second defeat of the tournament, however were less than convincing.

The Thundersticks opened the scoring at the 10 minute mark thanks to a well-constructed play down the left hand side. Jonathon Charlesworth passed beautifully down the line for Matthew Boyce to pick up and carry towards the circle whose back stick found striker Andrew Smith as he scored the first goal of the match.

Their second came from a wonderful pivot and shoot from midfielder Fergus Kavanagh after he received a perfectly weighted ball form Graeme Begbie handed WA a 2-0 lead.

With only eight minutes remaining in the half the Thundersticks scored their third and final goal off a short corner and simple pass to the left saw striker Peter Blakeney drag flick between the goal keeper’s legs.

After the break there was not much excitement for the large crowd that gathered to watch as the Stingers grinded out every attack the Thundersticks threw at them. There were three short corners to the Thundersticks who only seemed to want to go forward and not build any attack.

The level of quality hockey shown by the Thundersticks was much below the standard they produced yesterday when they clinically dismantled the Waratahs defence and attack.

Day one report

The Victorian Vikings and the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks have emerged big winners from day one of the men's AHL tournament in Canberra, scoring big victories over the Northpharm NT Stingers and NSW Waratahs respectively.

The OAMPS Queensland Blades and MIA Tassie Tigers were also winners on day one while home state Canberra Labor Club Lakers and the Southern Hotshots will look to record their first win during tomorrows matches.

The Vikings got off to a flying start during the first match of the tournament, dominating the first half against the Stingers. After securing a solid lead the Vikings continued to dominate the match with Kookaburras Luke Doerner, Andrew Smith and Travis Brooks all active contributors.

Defending champions OAMPS Queensland Blades started their quest to become the first men's team in AHL history to win three championships in a row on a positive note, however were well tested by the Southern Hotshots.

With their defense functioning well, the Blades forwards scored the first two goals of the match thanks to the hard work of Troy Elder and 2007 WorldHockey 2007 Player of the Year Jamie Dwyer.

However the Hotshots hit back midway through the first half through a phenomenal drag flick by Grant Schubert off a penalty corner.

As the game drew to a close both sides had several scoring opportunities, with the Hotshots finding a second wind against at the tiring Queensland defence. However with some late shots on goal going wide and some brilliant saves from Queensland goalkeeper Stephen Lambert, the Hotshots were unable to score again.

The SmokeFree WA Thundersticks established themselves as genuine contenders at this year's competition after registering a five goal win over NSW.

Things looked ominous for NSW after the Thundersticks first penalty corner resulted in a rocketing shot from the stick of Aaron Hopkins which deflected off the Waratahs goalkeeper's pads after ten minutes.

Things continued to be a struggle for NSW as they failed to register a goal thanks to the pressure applied from the Thundersticks defence lead by Kookaburra Bevan George.

Home team the Canberra Labor Club Lakers failed to record their first win of the tournament in front of their home crowd, going down to an impressive MIA Tassie Tigers outfit.

The first half saw a tight affair where the only goal scored was off a Tasmania penalty corner. Geoff Cock put the rebound past the outstretched Lakers keeper after David Guest hit the ball low and to the keepers’ right.

Ben Bishop was a standout for the home team with his efforts on both sides of the field. Most of the attack was poured through him and the effects showed towards the end. Solid defence in the second half meant that the Lakers had more chances but they were unable to find the net.

Overall the first day of the men's AHL tournament saw some high quality hockey produced, setting up an exciting two weeks for the remainder of the tournament.

Source: Hockey Australia


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