Strikers put up fight against Lions

George GoodwinSouth Western Times

THE South West Strikers women’s side put up an improved show against the highly-fancied Promotion One women’s leaders the Perth Lions at the Bunbury Hockey Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Strikers were missing several youngsters and loaded their side with experience, but still suffered a 2-1 loss.

Having been thrashed 7-2 earlier in the season, the Strikers put on a great showing and a draw loomed but unfortunately for the home side youngster Georgina Dowd missed a goal late in the game.

Former Strikers Tahnee Gibbons and Courtney Barton were added to the Strikers together with the return of Anita Scott and State under-18 selection Meg Read.

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And with their input the Strikers held the Lions scoreless until midway through the second half of the match.

Ruby Fogarty started the Lions’ scoring just after half-time before Dowd levelled the ledger five minutes later.

It was tails up and a desperate scramble for the rest of the half until Jolie Sartario slotted a goal to put the Lions 2-1 in front.

The Strikers had one last ditch effort to level the scores when Down missed late in the game, breaking the hearts of players and fans at the stadium.

Meanwhile, in the men’s game, a posse of experienced players put their hands up to help out the young South West Strikers in their tough task against the Promotion One leaders Lions.

The Strikers, missing several youngsters to the Groovin’ the Moo music festival at Hay Park, lost 4-1 in a courageous effort.

This was a big improvement on their first round 10-0 loss.

After losing most of his grand final team of last season, coach Allan McGeoch has soldiered on with a rebuilding side.

The coach was happy after the loss in which the Strikers kept the Lions scoreless in the second half after trailing by three goals at the half-time break.

Former Scott Medallist Andrew Blee was one of the experienced players to put up his hand and played a blinder together with Ben Stam, Tom and Ben Payne, Michael Sewell and Shaun O’Brien.

A brilliant save early in the match by the Strikers’ goalie led to a penalty corner which Lions’ Shaun Ray converted.

That shock was followed by two more in quick succession before Sewell opened the Strikers account for 3-1 lead, before Paul Stopie put in the Lions’ fourth.

The second half saw a great battle by the courageous country side with goalie Griffin Howard making a series of top reflex saves.

Blee, Sewell, Sam Pike, the Payne brothers and company kept up the fight.

The Lions were bolstered by Albany brothers Shaun and Jason Ray together with international imports Saleem Asseef and Chas Earl and their captain Nathan Palmer.

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