Flames on fire to grab title
IT WAS a victory the Fraser Flames Hockey Club has waited almost 15 years to get.
So it was only fitting it took one of the longest games in Hervey Bay Hockey Association history to seal the memorable premiership victory.
After a two-and-a-half hour grand final battle, the Flames earned its first men's A-grade title, prevailing over two-time reigning champions Brothers in a second stroke-off on Saturday night.
Goalkeeper Mark Griffin was the hero for the Flames after denying the normally reliable Phil Taylor.
The save sparked wild celebrations from the success-starved Flames fans, who came in droves to see their team break the drought.
Flames player-coach Shane Cowling, in his first year in charge, hailed his team's character.
"They put in a great effort and didn't give up," he said.
"At half-time I said if they wanted to win this they would have to play with their heart and that's what they did."
The Flames, chasing redemption after losing to Brothers on strokes in last year's grand final qualifier, were on fire early with Matt Knight snaffling the first goal of the game from his team's opening short corner.
For the rest of the game the Flames had to stand strong against incessant onslaughts from Brothers, but a late goal by Taylor sent the game into extra-time.
After two scoreless overtime periods, the first stroke-off saw both teams fire home four of their five shots, before Griffin made the winning save.
Meanwhile, Shannon Brown scored a double to help the Magpies secure the women's title.
The Magpies beat the Flames 3-0 in the grand final with Jessica Dawes also on target for the minor premiers.