Despite the fact that there is one round to go, after this weekend’s Hockey Albury-Wodonga (HAW) action, the final four is set for both the men and women.
However, the order of both may change with CR United, Wodonga, Norths and Magpies heading into the men’s semi-finals, while Falcons, Wodonga, Magpies and Norths make up the four teams heading to the women’s semi-finals in a fortnight’s time.
This weekend’s men’s matches saw Norths and Falcons play out an entertaining 5-5 draw.
Sitting third on the ladder, Norths were expected to beat fifth-placed Falcons, and, in the first half, they came out demonstrating their potential, showing a strong attack and defence with Brandon Purtell and Oscar Smart leading the way.
The game went into the half-time break with the score 5-1 in Norths’ favour.
The second half started with five Falcons penalty corners in a row.
Charley Wallace broke the corner deadlock by putting the ball into the net.
The half continued and was far more scrappy and physical as both teams pushed forward, but Falcons made more of their opportunities with Tony Donnelley and Charley Wallace the standout players.
Harrison North got behind the defence twice and scored two field goals, before Donnelly converted a short corner with six minutes to go to level the match.
The play for the last six minutes was tight, but there was no further score leaving the game a 5-5 draw.
In the other men’s clashes, CR United posted a 3-2 victory against Magpies, while Wombats upset Wodonga 2-0.
Wodonga was far too strong for Wombats in the women’s competition, prevailing 8-1.
Wombats started well with a great field goal to Casey Hunter, but then Wodonga took control.
The Bulldogs took advantage of their short corner opportunities, converting three of them.
Excellent short passing by Wodonga saw their forwards link up well and resuled in them forging ahead.
However, despite the goal difference, Wombats did not give up, continuing to fight as Sadie Sawyer led the way in defence.
Wodonga’s best were Ally Hughson and Shae Billingsley.
Magpies ended CR United’s slim finals hopes with a 3-1 win, while Falcons outclassed Norths 4-0.