Waverley Premier League Men travelled across the bridge to face the inform Altona Hockey Club outfit. With Altona only losing one game this season the Panther’s knew they would face a tough test at the “Snake Pit” at it is known by the hockey community.
The Panther’s welcomed back Australian Under 21 Representative James Knee who has just completed a successful season in Holland. Within the first 3 minutes Altona was able to break through the Panther’s defence with experienced players Mathew Higgins driving the ball forward and Mathew Guest finishing off from an acute angle with a back stick strike.
For the remainder of the first half Waverley dominated possession but with Altona’s defence repelling any forward attacks. Waverley’s Matt Freeman in the back half was solid and Tim Wischusen causing trouble upfront.
At the break the focus was on being patient, controlling possession and working penalty corners. This paid off for the Panther’s as 10 mins in they were awarded a penalty corner from great work down the right side by James Knee and Tim Wischusen. Lachie Steinfort let rip a thunder bolt from the top of the circle leaving the Altona defence no chance squaring the game 1 all.
Both teams step up the intensity and the remainder of the half was played at a frantic pace. Pather’s captain Tim Wischusen received a yellow card for a tackling infringement allowing Altona to gain control while he was off.
Waverley had the best of the opportunities to take the league with numerous chances missed in front of goal. With both teams throwing all they had left at each other in the dying minutes the crowd was entertained until the final whistle. The game ended a 1 all draw with the Panthers disappointed not to get the full points with the opportunities they created late in the game.
The Panthers take on Doncaster this Tuesday night at the State Netball Hockey Centre and need a win to stay in contact with the top four.