NO player in the women’s Premier League Hockey competition has enjoyed more grand final success than Kristy Ekert, but when she claimed another title with St Pat’s on Saturday she still relished the moment.
Ekert, along with fellow Saint Lucy Weal, has now been part of seven title winning campaigns with her beloved Saints.
The blue and whites won four straight titles between 2003-06, prevailed again in 2009, added a sixth title in 2013 then on Saturday, downed Lithgow Panthers 5-2 in Lithgow for more glory.
Ekert joined her team-mates at full-time in a big outpouring of emotion – there were fist pumps, hugs, tears and laughter.
“I don’t think I can remember this feeling, but it feels amazing. The girls just dug so deep for that whole game, everyone wanted to win so bad and you could tell,” Ekert said.
“Since February, right at the start of the year, we had one goal and that was today. We did it and it means so much, I’m tearing up over it.”
Just as Ekert had scored the match-winner for the Saints when they beat Panthers on grand final day in 2004 and 2005, on Saturday she again struck against the Lithgow outfit.
She scored two goals in quick succession at the start of the second half, pushing a 2-1 advantage out to a more substantial 4-1 buffer.
They were crucial in setting up the premiership win.
“We knew that last time we played that was the score at half-time at they came back at us, so we knew it was going to be very similar. We wanted to make the next goal be ours and we did,” she said.
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While Ekert will continue to ply her trade for the club she has literally bled for, she acknowledged those who retired after Saturday’s premiership.
Both Julie Hanman and goalkeeper Tracey Gunning, who have shared so many premiership success stories with Ekert over the years, have called time on Premier League Hockey.
“It’s a sad thing that we get old isn’t it? It will be sad to see Chooka [Gunning] go, she has been around the troops for awhile now and she played awesome today. Julz is leaving us too,” she said.
“There might be a few more, you never know, people can change their minds, we’ll just have to wait and see.”