THE Central Victoria Blazers state league men’s and metro women’s hockey teams will be chasing grand final glory this Saturday.
Central Victoria’s stars fired up to win the preliminary final clashes with St Bernards and Brunswick respectively.
The state league men will take on Baw Baw Bulls in the season decider.
The Blazers stayed in the premiership race after a brilliant fightback at the State Hockey Centre.
A goal in the first minute by Greg Anderson capped fine play in which Tony Capuano quickly moved the ball from defence to Josh Vaughan in space.
St Bernards rallied from the early setback and applied a lot of pressure on the Blazers defence.
Craig Conn was strong in goals for the Central Vic Blazers and produced several saves throughout the first half.
The Saints converted several attacking raids into penalty corners and capitalised on one midway through the half to equalise.
Pre-game favourites, St Bernards started the better in the second half and earned an early penalty corner to take 2-1 lead.
Despite going a goal down, the Central Vic Blazers were able to keep their composure and as St Bernards began to fall away. Several attacking opportunities were created through Brent Goodes and Caillan Welton.
The Blazers levelled the scores with less than 15 minutes to go, when Anderson received the ball at the top of a congested attacking circle, turned and delivered to Welton who shot low to the left of the keeper.
CV took the lead for the second time in the game with only five minutes to go when striker Aaron Lougoon finished off a great build-up.
Lougoon’s strike from the right went over the St Bernard’s oncoming keeper.
The Blazers take on Baw Baw from 12.15pm this Saturday at the State Hockey Centre.
● Forward Hannah Vibert starred for the metro women Central Vic Blazers as they scored a 2-0 win againt Brunswick at Brunswick.
Both goals were scored by Vibert, including one spectacular diving goal.
The Blazers will meet La Trobe Uni in Saturday’s grand final from 4pm at the Essendon Hockey Centre.