Hockey Grand Finals See Beaches Break Long Men’s 1st Division Premiership Drought

Dean Herbert maintains possession for Beaches in Hockey Coffs Coast’s Men’s Division 1 grand final against Bellingen. Photo: Supplied.

 

IT’S been a long time between hockey drinks for the Beaches Men’s Division 1 team but after 27 long years without a grand final win, the wait is finally over.

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Beaches ended its drought after it defeated Bellingen 3-1 in the decider.

Beaches were on top in the early stages but were unable to capitalise thanks to some terrific saves by Matt Geall.

It wasn’t until Beaches skipper Adam Ellison slotted the first of his two goals that the victors started to gain some ascendancy.

Bellingen’s Justin Alford always looked dangerous and would likely have equalised, if not for the outstanding goalkeeping of Michael Johns.

Ellison’s one, soon became two and with a final goal from player of the grand final Kaemon Smith, Beaches had their long-awaited win.

“This has been a long time coming,” Ellison said.

“I’ve played in a lot of grand finals for Beaches and we’ve come up short on so many occasions.

“This is an overdue reward for everyone at the club that has put in the hard yards over so many seasons.”

Grand Final day is always a fantastic occasion on the Hockey Coffs Coast calendar and with the easing of COVID restrictions and a new canteen facility to celebrate, 2020 proved no different.

Hockey Coffs Coast president Joel Matthews couldn’t have been happier with the day.

“It was a great day for hockey on the Coffs Coast,” Matthews said.

“We had the Mayor, Denise Knight and State Member, Gurmesh Singh help open our new canteen facility.

“We also saw some terrific hockey in perfect playing conditions.

“It was a fitting end to a very different season but one that saw hockey on the Coffs Coast continue to grow.

“We look forward to an even bigger and better season 2021.”

The Women’s Division 1 grand final saw Bellingen continue its decade long dominance of the competition.

The young Beaches team were the minor premier but Bellingen’s experience came to the fore with Bri Hope and Lianna Watkins scoring the goals that secured yet another win for Bellingen.

Bellingen also won the Women’s Division 2 grand final with a 2-1 win over Orara. Orara also reached the Women’s Division 3 grand final but found Beaches too strong on the day with 4-2 the final scoreline.

In the junior grand finals a brilliant extra-time winner from young gun Phoenix Smith claimed the under-16 title for Strikers in all Urunga-final against Lightning. as the Urunga Strikers took the spoils 2-1.

Beaches beat Bellingen 3-0 in the under-13s while in the under-11s, Bellingen maintained its unbeaten record for the season in a 5-2 win over Norths.

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