Western Australia Too Strong for South Australia, and WA Re-claims National Title by Shendelle Oliver
The West Australian women’s lacrosse team are again National Champions after claiming victory
over South Australia on Saturday, the 13th of October.
The West Aussies knocked the South Australians out of the park beating them 20-5 in wet and rainy conditions. In 2011, WA broke a 27 year drought as the ladies had not won the Championship since 1984, and the girls were hungry for another victory.
WA raced out of the blocks with a goal at the first minute from a drive by Bec Banyard but were held by SA, who also scored one through Aurelie Pluijmakers (four for the game) for the next ten minutes, before getting into their stride and piling on the goals to lead 12-2 at half time.
After half time WA was unstoppable in transition. While South Australia held the ball for long
periods in their forward line they were unable to penetrate the team defence, with lynchpins of
Sarah Forbes, Bec Banyard, Julie Ames and Mel Goddard, backed up by goalkeeper Buzzy Hinkes,
who had relatively little work to do in the tournament.
Turnovers by South Australia proved costly with speedy West Aussie midfielders Ashtyn Hiron, Tegan Brown, Tammie West, Hannah Barnsley, Sally Banyard, Aimee Bowman, Tessa Atkinson streaking the ball into the WA attack line, where Jess Kennedy, Emily Hall, Courtney Ackland and Rebecca Bowland-Curtis controlled the ball. WA broke a nine-minute scoring drought against a courageous SA defense late in the second half when Mel Goddard converted after a string of WA misses.
All in all, there were 11 goal scorers for WA who proved they were a force to be reckoned with.
Ackland and Bowland-Curtis were top goal scorers with three apiece. Midfielder Ashtyn Hiron was named MVP for Western Australia and Charlotte Whinnen was named MVP for South Australia.
After a week of scorching conditions most of the match was played in heavy rain but it didn’t affect the WA standard. Coach Geoff Goddard attributed the win to the hard work of the WA girls in the lead-up when he noted, “We were stronger overall in every facet and had a good mix of youth and experience.”
He said the team was close-knit. They had built on last year and had the necessary confidence and belief in one another. “There’s no reason we can’t dominate for another few years, at least with this group and the players we’ve seen coming through in the Presidents team (wild card team),” he said.
Six WA were named in the Australian All Stars Team as well as Coach Goddard. Hiron, Kennedy,
Brown, Barnsley, Forbes and Goddard all made the cut. Jess Kennedy was also voted MVP for tournament.
South Australia Wins Men’s National Title by Shendelle Oliver
The West Australian men were not as successful as their female counterparts. They finished third behind South Australia who claimed the National Title win over Victoria. However, West Australian midfielder Jesse Bowland-Curtis was named MVP for the tournament.
Now that the tournament is over, the Men’s Australian Squad will under-go a two day training camp in Perth. The Australian National Lacrosse Championships were played in Perth from the 10-13th of October at Nicholson Reserve in Yangebup.
For more information about Lacrosse in Western Australia visit www.lacrossewa.com.au