Victorian Vikings win AHL for first time since ’98
Defeat WA 5 - 3
It was a strong start in the men’s gold medal match of the AHL with Victoria awarded a penalty corner in the opening minutes. Chris Ciriello came through with the goods using his powerful drag flick to give Victoria the advantage.
Home side the WA Thundersticks were not to be taken advantage of and only a minute later, Tim Geers scored a field goal for WA. At minute 13, WA captain Chris Bausor knocked in a penalty corner giving WA the lead.
It wasn’t for long, with Chris Ciriello knocking in his second for the match at minute 15, leaving WA and VIC going into quarter time tied at 2 all.
James Knee followed up with a field goal for Victoria ten minutes into the second quarter, leaving the Victorians going into half time with a 3 – 2 lead over the home team.
Both teams came out of the half time break with a mission, and only a few minutes in, Victoria extended their lead to 4 – 2 courtesy of a field goal from Kiran Arunsalam.
The remainder of the third quarter was fast paced, with both teams gaining a number of chances at goal, however Arunsalam’s remained the sole goal of the term leaving the score going into the final quarter at 4 – 2 in Victoria’s favour.
With seven minutes to go, WA were up for a penalty stroke, with captain Chris Bausor taking the shot and slamming the goal past goalkeeper Johan Durst.
Andrew Philpott came back for Victoria, sneaking a field goal in past WA goalkeeper Tyler Lovell and taking the score to VIC 5 – 3 WA with minutes to go.
Vikings captain Russell Ford said: “It’s been a long time since our last win. We’ve had a lot of disappointment, a lot of semi-final losses, a loss in the final and it’s been the majority of this group with the addition of a few young guys who have come in so it means a lot.”
The bronze medal match took place earlier in the day, with New South Wales coming away with the medal. After an early tussle for the ball, Lachlan Sharpe found himself in the circle without much of the Indian defence and scored the first for the NSW Waratahs with a back hand tomahawk that sailed into the net.
India followed up with a few cracks of their own, however NSW had defence in numbers and nothing could be converted. Orchard went for a shot with seconds to go in the first, but goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak simply raised a hand to block the goal.
A minute in to the second quarter, and Tom Craig doubled the NSW lead scoring a sneaky field goal from the right of the net. Landon Morley followed up with 4 minutes to go in the first half, taking the Waratahs lead to 3 – nil.
At minute 25, India came back with a chance on a penalty corner, making it look easy Gurjant Singh flicked the ball in with no problem. Landon Morley came out to score another in the third securing the bronze medal for the NSW Waratah witha 5 - 1 final score.
The classification matches for the minor places took place on Saturday, with full results below.
Gold Medal Match
VIC 5 - 3 WA
Bronze Medal Match
NSW 5 – 1 IND
1. Victorian Vikings
2. WA Thundersticks
3. NSW Waratahs
4. India Junior National Team
5. QLD Blades
6. Malaysia Tigers
7. Tassie Tigers
8. Canberra Lakers
9. NT Stingers
10. SA Hotshots
11. Malaysia Blue
12. New Zealand Futures