WODONGA has handed flag favourites United their first loss of the year in Albury-Wodonga club hockey.
Nathaniel Conlan and Fraser Cullen backed up as the Spitfires goalscorers in Capital League on Saturday by scoring for the Bulldogs in a come from behind 2-1 victory at Wodonga in division 1.
It came at the end of the week where the two teenage rep players had also featured in the junior Victorian carnival with Sunday’s game believed to be their 10th match in seven days.
Wodonga coach Craig Pontt said his side was simply maturing.
“There’s no doubt United are still the favourites for the title but Sunday showed we could match it with them,” he said.
“The young guys are starting to slot into the game plan — after a year of senior hockey they are smarter, stronger and now making better decisions when we are in the attacking third.
“There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel.”
United, last year’s beaten grand finalists, had led early before the Bulldogs equalled to go into the break 1-1.
The winner came late in the second half.
“Conlan and Cullen were good but Brett Innis in defence and Ben Martin in goals were outstanding as well,” Pontt said.
“We need to keep the points rolling, need to beat those sides around us and below us if we are to guarantee a spot in the finals.”
Elsewhere Falcons thumped Norths 7-1 to keep its hopes of final’s hockey alive.