Tacking Point Thunder, Wauchope and Port City to contest Port Macquarie Hastings Hockey Association grand finals

Battling it out: Tacking Point Thunder men's captain Haydn Alexander, women's vice-captain Lucy Chappell, Wauchope women's Premier League vice-captain Tara Slattery and Port City men's captain Dan Little. Photo: Paul Jobber
Battling it out: Tacking Point Thunder men's captain Haydn Alexander, women's vice-captain Lucy Chappell, Wauchope women's Premier League vice-captain Tara Slattery and Port City men's captain Dan Little. Photo: Paul Jobber

BAD luck often comes in threes and Tacking Point Thunder will hope that isn’t the case on Saturday.

A significant day for the club will see them compete in three grand finals – men’s and women’s A-grade Premier League in Port Macquarie and a Regional League decider in Taree.

But standing in their way will be Chatham (in Taree) along with Wauchope (in the women’s Premier League) and Port City (in the men’s Premier League).

Men’s Premier League A-division captain Haydn Alexander labelled being in the grand final as a “win in itself” for his side.

“We came tied with Camden Haven (in the regular season) and pipped them by six goals difference so we’re lucky to be there,” he said.

“We’ve been able to win the ones we needed to which has been the key.”

Alexander admitted he enjoyed being given the captaincy at the start of the year and a grand final victory would replicate his success from two years ago.

“We took out the B-grade comp two years ago with the same team,” he said.

They managed to avenge last year’s grand final qualifying defeat to club rivals Cougars last weekend which booked their place in this year’s grand final.

Port City men’s Premier League A-division captain Dan Little will play his first grand final in Port Macquarie in almost 10 years after he returned from Sydney this season.

“I knew we would be up there,” he said.

Their positive results had shown their young players had been committed to training.

Who will it be: Haydn Alexander, Lucy Chappell, Tara Slattery and Dan Little prepare for this weekend's hockey grand finals. Photo: Paul Jobber

Who will it be: Haydn Alexander, Lucy Chappell, Tara Slattery and Dan Little prepare for this weekend's hockey grand finals. Photo: Paul Jobber

“If you want to develop in any sport, you need to train. You can’t just turn up to a game and expect to put the ball in the net.”

Thunder women’s Premier League A-division vice-captain Lucy Chappell said they had overcome the challenge of having players regularly unavailable throughout the season due to commitments in Taree.

“Most weekends this season we’ve either been playing with no subs or one sub, so we’ve done really well to make it to the grand final,” she said.

Chappell said they would welcome back Australian representative Annika Toohey into the side along with her sisters Sienna and Domi.

They could provide the x-factor in what is expected to be a close season decider.

“It’s going to be a close match, but we have a younger, fitter team which might be the key,” Chappell said.

Wauchope Premier League A-division vice-captain Tara Slattery welcomed the underdog dag for her side.

“This is my second grand final and we haven’t made one for about three years,” she said.

“We lost to Thunder in a shootout in the last one we played in.”

Slattery said they had learned from their loss to Thunder in the last match a fortnight ago.

“Our heads got a bit overheated and we started playing their game, not our game so if we back ourselves we know we can do it,” she said.

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