PORT City ended a premiership drought that had lasted more than 10 years in a ruthless 6-1 belting of Tacking Point Thunder Blue Tongues on Saturday.
The performance of Luke Ottaway was the standout in the Bull Sharks’ Port Macquarie-Hastings Hockey Association men’s Premier League grand final success.
Ottaway claimed a hat-trick while Harry Yardley, Matt Carson and returning captain Dan Little also found the back of the net.
Jamie Stammers equalised for the Blue Tongues after Yardley’s eighth-minute goal, but from there it was all one-way traffic.
The Bull Sharks’ possession-based game paid dividends with the Blue Tongues chasing shadows at times, particularly in the first 10 minutes.
Little said the key to their win was based on enjoyment and improving collectively throughout the season.
“All the boys have worked hard all year and the key to any great team is having fun and enjoying your hockey,” he said.
“We were really positive about it and worked everyone hard for the other guy next to them.”
Port City took a well-deserved 3-1 lead to the break before they went on with the job in the second half.
“We missed a few chances in the first half, but then put the nails in straight into the second half.”
Little admitted his team still had to work for their win despite the ease at which the result looked on the scoreboard.
“Credit to Thunder, they were in the game for a lot of it, but when you have 70 per cent possession it’s very hard to score,” he said.
“If they don’t have the ball they can’t score.”
Tacking Point only touched the ball a handful of times in the opening 10 minutes and rarely strung more than two passes together for the remainder of the game.
Captain Haydn Alexander admitted that, along with the absence of Ethan Cornell (broken thumb) and Brad Paterson (Taree), ultimately cost them.
“We were undermanned,” he said.
“Ethan broke his thumb last week so that was a big loss in the midfield and Brad had to play in Taree so that was striking power that we lost.
“(Then) we couldn’t put two passes together.
“There were too many solo efforts and (Port City) just wanted it more.”
Port City’s movement when in possession proved too tough of an ask for the Blue Tongues to overcome.
“They just pass it too well; they’re a skilled side and Dan runs a tight ship,” Alexander said.
“You could hear him out there and I think he was definitely the better captain on the day.
“He led from the front and it just didn’t happen for us.”
Tacking Point simply couldn’t back up their effort from last week when they knocked off minor premiers Cougars.
“It was just attrition,” Alexander said.
“(Port City) are fitter, more skilled … they’re just better and getting to the grand final was the win for us.”