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    • Northern Men Take Premier 2 Championship For Second Year
      • 16 Sep 2019
      • Northern United Hockey Club
      • <figure class=" sqs-block-image-figure intrinsic " > Photo by Lewis Bishop The Northern Men’s team have completed a double, winning their Premier 2 grade for the second year running. In a repeat of last years’ final, they met a strong Tawa Titans team, who were looking to complete their commanding season and push for promotion to the top tier competition. Northern’s ‘Honey Badgers’ had met Tawa five times already this season. During regular-season games, they had come out worse off, but in both the two previous finals matches - in the grading round final and the first semifinal, Northern had held the Titans to a draw, before besting them in penalty shoot-outs. It was after that penalty shoot-out win in the semi-finals that Northern went straight through to the grand final, while Tawa had to fight Hutt United in a second semi. The Northern boys, however, had a free weekend after their friendly match was cancelled. Northern went into the match looking like the underdogs, but went 1-nil up early after a mis-timed strike from player-coach Nathan Croad found the back of the net. The Titans had to wait until the second half to reply, taking the score to 1-1, and looking like the teams would be going to shoot-out for a third time. However, a goal from youngster and Capital rep, Samuel Bishop, put the ball away to bring the Badgers back into the lead. While Tawa’s attack was fierce, and keeper Sam French was called upon to make several saves throughout the game, as the clock counted down, the match felt firmly within Northern control. The Northern team continued to push for the entire 70 minutes, with midfielder Olly Wright chasing down a ball hit out of the Northern defensive 25, to take it into the Tawa circle. While Northern wasn’t able to capitalise off Wright’s attack, 2-1 was how the match ended, with the Northern United boys claiming the championship for the second year running.
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