Gloucester Panthers will play the grand final

Gloucester Panthers: The Gloucester Hockey Club's division three teams gets ready to take the field on Saturday. Photo: Dave Keen
Gloucester Panthers: The Gloucester Hockey Club's division three teams gets ready to take the field on Saturday. Photo: Dave Keen

On Saturday evening the Gloucester Panthers men's division three hockey side started their finals campaign.

In full stride: Dale Tonks moves back down the field and into position during the game in Taree. Photo: Dave Keen

In full stride: Dale Tonks moves back down the field and into position during the game in Taree. Photo: Dave Keen

After delays from the match before going into triple extra time, they finally took to the field against first place getters, Chatham Wolves.

The Panthers did not start off strong, letting up some valuable field position to the opposition who, to their credit came out with a very strong offence early. There was a goal in the first five minutes to Chatham and a second not long after that.

Gloucester were not without their opportunities missing some easy shots.

The second half was a different story as Gloucester showed great control over game play. A goal to Piet Vanden Brink helped but a further goal to Chatham made a comeback harder to achieve.

Despite most of the play in the last 15 minutes going predominantly the Panthers' way, a determined defence from Chatham stopped any further goals.

Fortunately, the Panthers were playing in the major semi-finals, so they have a second shot at the grand finals.

With a different line up from last year’s team, it has been an up and down season.

Last year’s premiers moved up a division, while this division three side has been a bit of a mash of clubs. They take on the Sharks this Friday night (September 8) at Taree at 8pm for their finals bout in an attempt to earn a grand final berth.