Federal’s stranglehold on Nelson Hockey has been loosened, with Tasman clinching a thrilling penalty shootout victory during Saturday’s women’s final.
But while the shock result went the way of Tasman, Federal proved too good in the men’s final, pushing out to a 3-0 lead in a pulsating fixture.
Having led 2-0 within the opening stages, Tasman women found themselves staring down a 3-2 defeat to a Federal side it hadn’t beaten all season. But the side’s gamble to pull the goal keeper and add an eleventh outfield player with just eight minutes on the clock proved to be a masterstroke with Bronie Edwards scoring in the final 30 seconds. The late equaliser sent Federal into a state of disbelief, while in turn, sky rocketing the confidence in the Tasman camp going into a straight penalty shoot out. Two Federal players failed to score with Rebecca Kersten’s touch passing the keeper but also the playing turf, handing Tasman the trophy – just the second time Federal has lost it in the past ten years.
While the men’s final was more straight forward, the Federal side, which has an average playing age of around 40, could also call their result an upset, being unable to beat Tasman throughout the regular season. Craig Brett, who scored in the final, admits the result was “against the run of play”.
“We hadn’t had a win against them all season and we had to be cautious with a few boys on yellow cards but we’re thrilled,” he says. “We’ve won it a few times so it was good to have it go our way.”
And even though both finals went against regular season form, both Federal and Tasman were clear favourites to reach the division one final and it’s something Craig seasons will need to be reviewed before next season, suggesting a more ideal situation would be to have more competitive clubs in the competition.