THEY call the third quarter the premiership quarter in Australian rules, but on Saturday it provided the decisive moments in the Bathurst Men's Hockey first grade grand final.
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It was in the third quarter that St Pat's Blue launched the comeback that led it to a 3-1 success over Souths at Bob Roach Field.
Souths had finished the regular season as minor premiers and were the first side through to the decider, having come from behind to beat St Pat's Blue 3-2 in extra-time in the major semi-final.
When the experienced Jono Cole scored a nice field goal in the first half to hand Souths a 1-0 lead, the two blues were again in a strong position to better the Saints.
But, as has often been the case in meetings between these two sides, a lead can quickly become a deficit.
Pat's scored twice in the third quarter to take the lead then found the target again in the final period.
Brothers Fletcher and Seth Norris plus Tyler Willott hit the target when it mattered.
"It's always tight between us and Souths, even in the semi-final we were up 2-0 and they came back. They got the first goal this time but then we just took our opportunities," St Pat's Blue's Trevor Weal said.
"They had plenty of opportunities themselves but just the goals fell our way. There was a little bit of luck to go with it, but there was plenty of skill there as well.
"Pat's versus Souths, there's always a bit of rivalry there. It's always a hard game but a skilful game, it doesn't matter who's on the park.
"Most of the Souths guys are ex Premier League players."
Weal deputised as coach on Saturday in the absence of Niel Howard, but it was not a hard job given the make up of the St Pat's Blue squad.
It has a mix of long-time Saints, Central West Premier League Hockey players and emerging juniors. There were also a host of family connections.
It was a mix that saw them beat St Pat's White 3-0 in the preliminary final then upset Souths in the decider.
"As a club when we've got two teams in the same grade, whether it's juniors or seniors, we try and make them as even as we can so that everyone is having a good go at it," Weal explained.
"We've got some older heads in there including myself and have got some young kids coming through, being in juniors and under 21s. It's very enjoyable seeing these young kids coming through and really expressing their talent on the field, it's great to see.
"There's a lot of names there that go back through the generations, it's a big family club and it's great to see the next generations coming through."
While the Saints took the lead with their strong third quarter, Weal said he did not feel comfortable until the final whistle sounded.
"At 3-1 up with about a minute-and-a-half to go I sort of thought that if they scored we should be able to hold them out, it's always to the final whistle, you never start celebrating until it's over," he said.
"It was a really good all-round team performance. Fletcher Norris played really well, he was named player of the grand final, Andre Rossitt, Lachlan Howard, Tyler Willott, they all stood up and played really well."
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