ONE FOR THE AGES: All Blacks go back-to-back
HOCKEY: "It was the best grand final I've been involved in.”
All Blacks player Des Barritt and the team may have won the Bundaberg Hockey Association senior men's grand final on Saturday but they did it the hard way.
In a classic grand final, the side claimed back-to-back titles with a 1-0 win over The Waves Cities in double extra time in the decider.
The goal game in the final 30 seconds of play.
All Black attacker Aidan McGill was taken down by The Waves Cities goalkeeper, which gave them a penalty stroke on goal.
The side secured the grand final with Rick Elder making no mistake to give the team the victory.
"It was a big day out for the side,” Barritt said.
"We were dreading the shootout and not looking forward to it because of the lottery of it.
"Then we got the penalty stroke and fittingly Rick put it away as he's been a massive part of the club this season.”
Barritt said the result should have been over long before extra time but the team couldn't take their chances.
"We had 17 short corners,” he said.
"The top teams usually score from about 30 percent of those corners.
"It was just strong defence from Cities and we couldn't find the goal.”
Barritt said the side didn't expect to come this far but was pleased to take out the win.
"We were just hoping to be competitive, the intention was to just make the final,” he said.
"To go back-to-back is a great achievement and a few of the players from last year now have itchy feet and are keen to come back to make it a three-peat.”
Barritt also completed the grand final win with his grandson Isaac Wales and his step-son.
"Isaac did a lot of miles and was crook and below his standard,” he said.
"He played well with what he suffered.
"It's a very proud moment for the family.”
Barritt paid tribute to The Waves Cities for their performance and said it was a cruel way for them to lose after playing so well.
The Waves Cities team manager Robbie Quaite said the side had chances to win, including a goal that was disallowed.
"That's what happens sometimes,” he said.
"It was one of those finals where we didn't take our chances.”
Quaite said to lose with just 30 seconds to go was gut wrenching for the side but they accepted the penalty decision.
"I was pleased with the side, they gave it everything they had,” he said.
"Both teams played well.
"We'll look to bounce back next year.”
The competition will be back next year with dates to be confirmed in the next few months.