Uniteds reach major final after shootout
A TENSE shootout is not the way any team wants to win or lose a final.
For three of the four Maryborough District Hockey Association Division 1 games, that is exactly how the teams were separated.
Scores were locked between Uniteds and Tinana at the end of extra time in their Division 1 women's match, leaving young goalies Millie Mushan (Tinana) and Lily Browning (Uniteds) to face enormous pressure.
"It's nerve-wracking,” Uniteds coach Jamie Worner said. "It's not the most fortunate way to win a game.
"You need a result, and everyone in the world seems to be in agreement it's the fairest way of doing it.
Browning won the battle of the keepers on this occasion, sending Uniteds through to a preliminary final against Granville.
"Lily, she had a wonderful game,” Worner said.
"She's been playing really good hockey for the last six weeks. She's only 14.
"It's taken her a while to find her place within the team but she's in there now and doing really well.”
Worner said he expected a tight tussle between his side and Tinana, who won last year's Division 1 title.
"I'd say it was what we expected,” Worner said. "Tinana, they're a team that never say die. They are very unorthodox but they always manage to be competitive.”
Worner said the season had been tough for Uniteds, who finished third on the ladder, but said any team could claim the title.
"We've rarely been able to put the same team on the paddock two weeks in a row with availability of players and other reasons,” he said.
"It's been tough but we're at the business end of the season now. It's a very close comp.
"The potential is there for this team to win the lot, it's just a matter of all planets aligning on the day.”