Hockey Albury-Wodonga powerhouses on the hunt for grand final glory

TOUGH CUSTOMER: Ian Beath (right) will make a bit of his own history at Norths when he plays alongside his son in Sunday's division one men's hockey final.
TOUGH CUSTOMER: Ian Beath (right) will make a bit of his own history at Norths when he plays alongside his son in Sunday's division one men's hockey final.

Sunday’s Hockey Albury-Wodonga division one grand finals will have several ties to family.

Norths’ veteran Ian Beath will play alongside his son Kurt for the first time in a division one decider after the side upset minor premiers CR United 3-2 in last weekend’s preliminary final.

It’s the first time Norths have reached the last day of the division one season in more than a decade when they take on Wodonga.

The Bulldogs progressed straight through to the grand final after defeating CR United in the major semi-final a fortnight ago and will look to end an 11-year premiership drought.

Sunday looms as a massive day for Wodonga who have their division one men’s and women’s sides in grand finals.

Wodonga’s women’s lineup also has plenty of family flair with sisters Macey, Riley and Summer Sutherland all playing alongside each other, while their father, Jerry, is the coach of the side. 

An impressive 4-1 victory against Magpies in the preliminary final will give the Bulldogs confidence they can go all the way.

They will face Falcons for the division one women’s title at 1.30pm for a chance to win the club’s first division one women’s title since 2008, while the Wodonga men and Norths will meet at 3.15pm.

BIG STAGE: Border hockey product Jade Mann will play for the Tuggeranong Vikings in this weekend's Capital League 1 grand final. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

BIG STAGE: Border hockey product Jade Mann will play for the Tuggeranong Vikings in this weekend's Capital League 1 grand final. Picture: SIMON BAYLISS

Hockey Albury-Wodonga will also be represented in the Capital League 1 grand final with former Norths and Albury-Wodonga Strikers star Jade Mann looking to capture premiership glory with the Tuggeranong Vikings against St Pats at the National Hockey Centre on Saturday.

Mann has been travelling from Kiewa to Canberra multiple times a week for the past two seasons to compete in the ACT competition which is widely regarded as the best standard of play outside of the Australian Hockey League.

The 20-year-old forward utility is hoping her side can turn around the way it ended last season and get the ultimate reward for their efforts.

“We ended up minor premiers this year and we did last year as well, but we went out in straight sets in the finals,” Mann said.

“It was pretty heartbreaking and I was pretty devastated considering I’d been travelling up for it.

“This year I made the ACT side to play in the nationals which was great, so I was travelling up there three times a week, as well as juggling full-time uni and working every day.

“It was pretty full on, I was averaging about five hours of sleep, but it’s all worthwhile.”

The Vikings went down 2-0 to St Pats in the major semi-final a fortnight ago, but hit back last weekend with a 3-0 win against ANU in the preliminary final to book another date with St Pats.