Drama on and off field on Day 3 of Nationals

Image © Lachlan Williams  
Image © Lachlan Williams  

Controversy has shrouded another tough day of competition at the 2014 Under 18 National Championships in Bendigo.

With today's games finalising the teams to playoff in the grand finals, the pressure was on everyone, from scorers, to coaches, officials and most of all the players.

The girls competition was wide open before the start of play today, with Victoria, WA and SA all in the running to grab a hold of the two spots in the final.  

Victoria kicked off the girls games for the day, taking on New Zealand.

The Vic's needed to win to ensure they at least had a chance of progressing through to the final, but NZ weren't just going to give them the game.

Victoria started solidly, taking a 5-2 first half lead, but the Kiwis made the second half much more uncomfortable.

With three early second half goals, NZ tied the game, and Victoria began to look like they may let the game slip.

But yet again, Victoria dug their way out of trouble, relying on the experienced shoulders of Rebecca Lane, scoring three consecutive goals to give hope to Victoria's grand final aspirations.

Victoria's fate then lay in the game between SA and WA, and SA win giving them a finals spot, a WA win meaning the West Aussie's would pinch it off the Vic's, ending their chance at completing nine straight tournament victories. 

The game began with a high intensity, WA desperate to earn a grand final spot and SA trying to remain unbeaten.

Nothing could separate the two teams in the first half, going goal for goal (4-4) until a hard earned half time break provided a reprieve from an exhaustingly intense first half.    

The second half had a very similar storyline to the first, with neither team able to gain a significant lead over the other.

The scores deadlocked at 6 all, overtime was required.

SA drew first blood, and seemingly should have won the match, with golden goal the rule for overtime periods in these championships. However, the game continued.

Luckily for WA that this was the case, as they were able to score just before and after the overtime half time break, to secure a controversial place in the finals winning 8-7.

Although the rules that were applied were incorrect, the result of a WA win stands and WA will rematch SA in the grand final tomorrow afternoon.

The boys competition didn't see such drama take place, both boys games with comprehensive margins.

WA and SA opened the days play, the winner going on to play Victoria in the final.

From the very first faceoff it was evident that WA would be the ones booking a place against the Vic's.

WA stamped their authority from the very beginning, storming to a 6-1 first quarter lead, including 3 first quarter goals to Connor Davies.

SA were effectively spectators for the rest of the game, being dominated in all facets of the game, eventually going down 17-4.

The game following was the dead rubber between Victoria and New Zealand.

New Zealand were completely overwhelmed by a much better Victorian outfit, who looked like they were having a training run for the final.

With 11 different goal scorers, Victoria were able to have a comfortable hit out before a big final tomorrow, going home victors 25-2.

Tomorrow will see a rematch of last year's boys final between WA and Victoria, while the girls final will feature WA and SA, the first time in almost a decade Victoria hasn't been contending for the title.

Tomorrow's fixture is:

(3rd and 4th playoffs)

SA vs. NZ

Girls Vic vs. NZ
12:30pm (grand final) Girls WA vs. SA
2:30pm (grand final) Boys Vic vs. WA

For live scores from the action on the final day at the Under National Championships, like the Lacrosse Victoria Facebook page or follow us on twitter @laxvic. 


WA 17 def. SA 4.
Vic 25 def. NZ 2.
Vic 9 def. NZ 7.
WA 8 def. SA 7 (overtime).

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