After gaining a 2-0 advantage at half-time, Goulburn Capital League men’s hockey team held off Central to win their final home game of the season.
The win was important for Goulburn as it virtually assures them a top four position and entry into the finals.
The positioning will not be known until the final round of the series because of the positioning of Wests, Old Canberrans and Central who have two games left to play although Goulburn only has one.
Goulburn’s final game is against Tuggeranong in Canberra next Saturday and regardless of the outcome Goulburn will be in the final four, but a win could help decide where.
On Saturday Goulburn started out a dominating possession with most of the play in their attacking half.
Central made several advances into Goulburn’s half but on most occasions lost the ball after the long passes were intercepted.
With just over ten minutes gone in the game Goulburn had an opportunity with a penalty corner. The initial hit from the corner was stopped, but Central failed to clear the ball from the danger zone. Jake Humphries pounced and found the gap to give Goulburn its first goal.
With 12 minutes in the half to go Central looked dangerous and picked up a corner but failed to capitalise with Goulburn clearing the ball and gaining possession. A penalty against Central with seven minutes left in the half was trapped by Dean Evans and captain Aaron Kershaw slammed it home.
Both sides had a chance to change the board before half time but on each occasions the defence held the ball out.
In the second half Central stepped up their attack and seemed as though they could break through the solid Goulburn defence.
With several key players out, Rob Naismith and Anthony Anable stepped in to fill the gaps and both were key in the midfield ball movement that gave Goulburn the upper hand.
Nick Paton had his work cut out as keeper but throughout the game his judgement and reflexes kept the Central attack from scoring.
Captain Aaron Kershaw said that despite the sometimes scrappy play Goulburn was able to work together to achieve the 2 to nil win.