THE Strikers have just failed in a bid to knock over second-placed Central at the weekend.
The Hockey Albury Wodonga women went to the half-time break on level terms with their Capital League counterparts after Nan Latta had equalised late in the first half.
A goal midway through the second term gave the visitors some breathing space while a late strike delivered the 3-1 scoreline.
Coach Tony Jones was full of praise for his side.
“The scoreline says 3-1 but it was a great game that could have gone either way,” he said.
“We pushed them all day.
“This is one of the competition pacesetters with two of the ACT’s national hockey league players so it was quality opposition.
“Sam Daly was good for us even though she rolled an ankle, Rhianna Coleiro played well and Chloe Jones was clearly our best at the back.”
Meanwhile, an under-manned and injury plagued Spitfires were no match for the undefeated Central men’s side going down 10-0.
The Hockey Albury Wodonga men trailed just 3-0 at the break but after losing Jamin Barrett with an ankle injury and Jeremy Payne (hamstring) in the first 20 minutes took its toll in the second half.
Central, with six players in the ACT’s National Hockey League squad, were simply too quick, said Spitfires coach Matt Smart.
“They haven’t lost a game all year and they showed just how good they are on Saturday,” he said.
“We held them to 3-0 up to the break but after that, without the players to rotate off the bench, we just ran out of legs.
“Every time we turned over the ball they just came back at us with pace and we struggled.”
Smart said he will lose even more players to the national country championships next week.
“The attrition rate this year has been incredible, I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said.
“But the positive is that a lot of our development players have played at this level for most of the season.
“On Saturday Angus Burnett and Zac Kraich both had excellent games.”