WODONGA and Magpies progressed through to the Hockey Albury-Wodonga grand finals in the Division One women’s and men’s competitions respectively.
Falcons await Wodonga in the women’s decider, after the Bulldogs prevailed 2-1 in a tight tussle with Magpies.
After scoring twice in the first half through Danni McLeish and Ally Hughson, Wodonga had to contend with a Magpies outfit determined not to let the preliminary final slip.
Both of Wodonga’s goals had come on the counter-attack, despite Magpies controlling the majority of the play.
The two teams each had their fair share of chances, but Magpies’ Sarah Knight made things interesting with her goal mid-way through the second half.
Though under significant pressure, the Wodonga defence never broke down, withstanding a final shot on goal after the siren to progress to the grand final.
Wodonga captain Shae Billingsley and Riley Sutherland led the way for the maroon and white, while best and fairest winner Eunyoung Kim and Knight were Magpies’ shining lights.
In the Div 1 men’s preliminary final, a two goal to nothing first half meant Magpies were holding all the cards in their tussle with United.
United had their share of chances, particularly in the dying stages of the second half, but weren’t able to capitalise.
Led by standout performances from Jeremy Maggs and best and fairest winner Joe Forster, Magpies claimed a 3-0 win and will face Norths in the grand final next Sunday.
Having been on the wrong side of a 7-1 shellacking the last time the two sides met, Magpies’ Darryl Lavis said it had been one the team’s better performances.
“We played them two weeks ago and they beat us 7-1, so we had a fair bit to prove today,” he said.
“The boys knew we had to work really hard against United, they have some really good ball movers and forwards.
“We managed to play around them, which was good, and slot some goals.
“We fell back and defended well, so there were a lot of positives to take out of it.”
After a narrow 3-2 loss to Norths in the first final, next weekend’s showdown shapes as a blockbuster.
The men’s grand final kicks off at 1.30pm at the Albury Hockey Centre, with the Div 1 women’s decider to follow at 3.15pm.