Call it luck, call it fate, call it timing, Federal’s run to the Top of the South hockey glory was timed to perfection.
Federal claimed the men’s title with a 4-0 win over Tasman at the Saxton Hockey Turf on Saturday.
It was the first time they hadn’t conceded a goal all season and the first time they had beaten Tasman in two years.
Key to the clean sheet was goalie Brad Fisher, who, along with coach Dean Machen, worked out a way to shutdown Tasman’s penalty corner threats.
“It feels good, the boys played hard and to finally beat this team is something we’ve wanted,” Brad says.
“I feel like we’ve been steadily improving all year and the last couple of weeks have been really good.”
Federal bear top qualifiers Aotea Kiwi for the first time in 2016 in the semi-finals.
Dean, who was wearing his lucky blue shoes that he has worn the past four weeks which has coincided with a four game winning streak, says his young team deserved the outcome, but Brad was special.
“Brad and I worked on a plan at training to try to shut down their drag flicks because that’s what has been beating us all year.
“Brad said he was going to rush out and try to cut down the angle and he certainly did that.”
Dean says he was happy for his team to fly under the radar and produce the upsets when they were needed most.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more, I thought our pace didn’t let up all game and while they came back at us we defended well, stopped their key players and made the most of our opportunities.”
Tasman’s women’s side also came up short in the women’s final in Blenheim, going down 4-1 to Aotea Kiwi who were deserved winners of the title.