Derby win keeps Souths' hopes alive

STILL ALIVE: Ali Stanford (left) congratulates team-mate Tahlia Cranston after a crucial goal in Souths' win over St Pat's on Saturday. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 062516psouths1

STILL ALIVE: Ali Stanford (left) congratulates team-mate Tahlia Cranston after a crucial goal in Souths' win over St Pat's on Saturday. Photo: PHILL MURRAY 062516psouths1

HOCKEY

SOUTHS kept their women's Premier League Hockey finals hopes alive with an upset 3-1 win over St Pat's on Saturday at Bob Roach Field.

A successful penalty stroke inside the first 90 seconds from Amelia Burke put the two blues in front and although Pat's, who started the round in third spot, lifted and equalised, a strong finish from Adrian Cox's team ensured they picked up the win.

Goals to Daisy Morrissey and Sarah Watterson inside the final 15 minutes breathed life into Souths' season, though they will still have to produce some more big results in their remaining six games if they are to feature in the finals.

"We can definitely take some confidence out of this, but we are still doing some silly things," Cox said.

"Today has just shown that when we control the ball, we go okay and we can compete with the good sides.

"The thing is that it is very hard for me to pinpoint what we did to turn things around today. If I could we'd maybe be in a better spot on the ladder than what we are at the moment."

After Burke's initial salvo, Pat's started to dominate the general flow of the game, earning a couple of penalty corners and spending more time in attack.

They didn't turn it into scoreboard pressure until the 27-minute mark when Erin Cobcroft sent a simple pass to Ella Menzies. She who levelled things at 1-all and gave her side all the momentum leading into half-time.

But while Pat's were strong in the final minutes of the opening half and on top once more when play resumed, they could not add to their tally.

That cost the blue and whites as Souths then began to lift their intensity, key players Sarah Watterson and Tahlia Cranston inspiring their team-mates.

After absorbing a couple of Pat's penalty corners, Souths had a chance of their own at the set piece. Although Pat's goalkeeper Tracey Gunning managed a good save off the first shot, Morrissey was on hand to slam home the rebound and restore her team's lead.

With five minutes on the clock, Souths put the result beyond doubt thanks to Watterson, who managed to weave past Gunning and put away a simple finish.

"We started well in those first five minutes of the game, but let the game drift a little bit after that," Cox said.

"The good thing was that when we needed our experienced players to stand up, they did just that. Tahlia led the way for us, but I think most of the girls put their hand up and really started to work hard.

"This breathes a bit of life into things now and gives us a shot of confidence. If we can build on this and win our next couple of games, we can get ourselves back into the mix."

SOUTHS 3 (Amelia Burke, Daisy Morrissey, Sarah Watterson) defeated ST PAT'S 1 (Ella Menzies)