ALBURY-Wodonga Strikers have capped a stellar season with a 5-1 grand final demolition of Southern United in what is likely to be their swansong in Victorian State League hockey.
A Nan Latta double in the first 15 minutes set the tone for the decider.
And while United clawed a goal back on the verge of half-time the second half was all Strikers.
Laura Errey’s blinding pace gave her the opportunity to extend the lead before Eloise McCormick got on the end of consistent pressure and team play to bag the last two goals, the celebrations well under way with five minutes to play.
Captain Latta, who will end the season with 42 goals, said it was a dominant performance.
“The best part of today was that everyone in the squad was up for it — there were no weak links,” she said.
“We simply wanted it more, we were first to the ball and ran all day.
“Getting those early goals was a key to our game plan.
“We wanted them to chase us from the start.
“They double-teamed me but we thought that would happen and in the end it opened up for our other forwards.
“We also knew that they wouldn’t be able to keep up with us if we played to our potential — they simply ran out of legs.”
Latta’s acceptance speech hinted this was the last show of an Albury-Wodonga team in state league hockey with 2014 rules demanding teams carry a second 11 for a reserves competition.
It is increasingly likely they will switch to the ACT league.
“It is a fact that we can’t do that (have two teams) — it is hard enough getting one team to Melbourne every second week, let alone two,” Latta said.
The Strikers’ best and fairest, Amy Allen, said the hot conditions took a toll on both sides, but the Strikers kept working.
“Sadie Butler did an enormous job on their striker, who had scored almost as many goals as Nan this year,” Allen said.
“She was next to her all day, never gave her any space.
“Laura Errey is by far and away the quickest girl in the league and she killed them on the wing.”
Coach Tony Jones admitted to some butterflies after United got the score back to 2-1 at half-time.
“We had pretty much had all the play and then they got that goal and went to the break with their tails up,” he said.
“We had the stronger players all over the park — Kate Mason and Tatiana Rouch in the midfield ran all day, Latta was great and Butler’s job on United’s Celine Donnet was pivotal.
“Everyone stood up out there today — the starting 11 were outstanding and those that came off the bench never gave United a moment’s rest.”