Flames fire up to turn tables on Magpies
FRASER Flames player-coach Shane Cowling has lauded his team's tenacity after it fought back from being a goal down to beat the Magpies 3-2 in the Hervey Bay hockey men's grand final.
In a physical contest, Flames striker Alex Kruger scored twice, including the deciding goal midway through the second half, to help his team secure a second straight title.
Cowling said the Flames, who had lost to the Magpies in their previous five meetings, timed their run to perfection, coming into the finals off the back of wins against the Youngbloods and Brothers after finishing the regular season third.
"I'm extremely proud of them just getting to this position (grand final), but we knew there was a 70-minute game to play and to end the game with a victory I couldn't be happier," he said. "I was over the moon with the team's performance, especially coming from behind at half-time to win.
"We had a chat at half-time about staying positive and about what we needed to do and we completed those things and that's why we ended up with a win."
James Manssen scored a first-half double as the Magpies, which had lost just two games all season, took a 2-1 half-time lead.
Determined to hit back, the Flames threw everything at the Magpies' defence and eventually found the equaliser after an impressive attack from Darren Hunter managed to draw goalkeeper Nick Dawes out and slot home the shot.
A few minutes later, Kruger gave the Flames the lead with a delicate flick over an advancing Dawes.
The Magpies had a late chance to send the final into extra time with a short corner after the final whistle, but couldn't get a shot off.