NSW overcomes slow start to claim Hockey Australia gold medal

Emma Corcoran scored the match-winning goal for her state on Saturday as NSW clinched the Hockey Australia Women’s Under-18s Indoor Championships title.

Corcoran, who was part of the NSW side which won the national 21s title just a week prior, slammed home a penalty corner to give the Blues a 2-1 lead over Victoria in the final at Wollongong and that was how things stayed.

GOLDEN GIRLS: Dubbo players Phoebe Bloink Hollier, Emma Corcoran and Courtney Hogan with the Hockey Australia trophy. Photo: FACEBOOK

GOLDEN GIRLS: Dubbo players Phoebe Bloink Hollier, Emma Corcoran and Courtney Hogan with the Hockey Australia trophy. Photo: FACEBOOK

Making the win even more significant for Dubbo Hockey Association was the fact fellow local talents Phoebe Bloink Hollier and Courtney Hogan were also in the squad and played a huge role in the Blues’ triumph.

The grand final win over Victoria capped off a superb comeback in the tournament.

After a draw and a loss in its opening two matches, NSW roared back into contention with four straight wins before heading into the decider.

Orange’s Courtney Barrett, another star of the tournament with two player of the match awards, said her side never panicked despite the slow starts.

“We did start slowly, we drew the first game and then lost the second to Victoria. I’m not sure really sure why, we have no problems playing together,” Barrett said, before adding there was no way her side was going to lose the decider.

“We said before the final we weren’t going home with a silver medal and that certainly helped, that mindset put us in a good position.”

In the decider, Victoria opened the scoring in the third minute through Carly James, but NSW bounced back just a minute later through Taylor Thomson.

Then, in the 15th minute Corcoran stepped up to put away the short corner, her second goal of the campaign.

The score remained 2-1 until half time and no goals were added in a nervy and tense second half, despite both sides having chances from short corners.

Local goalkeeper Lilli Campbell is currently in action at the 15s Championships, having conceded just two goals in four games.

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