THE WINNING MOMENT: Wests co-captain Eden Jackat ends up in the net after launching herself to score what turned out to be the winning grand final goal.
THE WINNING MOMENT: Wests co-captain Eden Jackat ends up in the net after launching herself to score what turned out to be the winning grand final goal. Rob Williams

Desperation needed to secure third grand final title

GRIPPING the premiership trophy like a treasured heirloom, Wests co-captain Eden Jackat could finally relax.

She had minutes earlier showcased the desperation needed to lift Wests to their third consecutive Ipswich A-Grade women's grand final hockey title.

Against a Hancocks side that had matched Wests all season and defended like their lives depended on it, something special was needed with the scores deadlocked at 2-2.

Jackat provided that with a fearless diving effort, launching herself low at the ball and slotting home the vital goal.

"To come from 2-0 down, I'm so proud of the girls,'' Jackat said.

"We gave it everything out there and we didn't stop until the end.''

A-Grade player of the year Jackat, 22, was delighted to help her team pierce the rock solid Hancocks defence, led by goalkeeper Shahna Hamment.

"I didn't even know what I was thinking but I just hit the ball into the net,'' Jackat said reflecting on how she slid across the Raceview turf.

Carrying the prized trophy around with a massive grin was a fitting reward.

 

Western Suburbs a-grade hockey player Eden Jackat with the spoils of victory.
FINAL REWARD: Delighted Wests co-captain Eden Jackat looks after her team's spoils of victory. Rob Williams

After recovering from a hand injury early in the season, Jordn Office scored Wests' first two goals.

"I did enjoy it a lot,'' Office said, also preparing to celebrate her third A-Grade title with Wests.

"It was a really good game because last year it was 8-1.''

She said Hancocks issued a sterner challenge on Saturday night having taken a 2-0 lead through Natalie Davison and captain Sara Rogers in the first half.

But it was Office who drew the scores level after a field goal and penalty corner deflection just before halftime.

"It felt great but I couldn't have done it without the team though,'' she said.

 

Western Suburbs celebrates winning the women's a-grade hockey grand final on Saturday night.
The Wests A-Grade hockey team that won its third grand final title in a row. Rob Williams

Office was part of the Queensland under-18 side which came third at this year's nationals in Tasmania.

However, she's keen to play on at Wests after sharing in another grand final triumph.

The 16-year-old said the halftime message provided a winning spark for the defending premiers.

"Our coach (Brent Nicholls) just gave it to us and we just went out there with a lot of fire,'' she said.

"The girls are just really united.''

Nicholls praised his side for its spirited second half effort, sealing its third win in a row - two against Hancocks after a 2016 victory over Swifts in a rain-affected grand final.

"I'm exceptionally proud of the girls,'' the master mentor said.

"They played with all their heart tonight and it was one of those games that you sort of waited for something to happen in the last 10 minutes.

"You'd think we were going to kick away or they were going to equalise and they just kept coming and kept coming and they defended and defended.

"I've got nothing but the highest respect for the way that they fought.

"While I'm proud of my girls, you want to see really competitive hockey and it was that tonight.

"It was a good game.''

 

Ipswich Hockey women's a-grade grand final played between Hancock Brothers and Wests at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Saturday night.
Wests coach Brent Nicholls embraces his wife Amy as other players join the post-game celebration. Rob Williams

 

Nicholls said although changes to future Wests teams were inevitable, the club was in a strong position for more A-Grade success.

"The beauty is we've got a lot of kids coming through,'' he said.

"The junior grades did really well (four teams in grand finals the previous weekend).

"We're breeding a lot in senior grades - Reserve Grade, A-Grade - so you've got to have that stock there ready to step up and they got a little bit of game time as well.

"That's happening and helping them find their feet.

"It's good signs for the years to come.

"But Hancocks are a young group as well. They have got quality players.''

The Wests victors were planning a superheroes tour on Monday with Nicholls dressing up as Superman.

After Nicholls played for and coached the winning Wests Reserve Grade side, he had plenty to enjoy after another season of accomplishments.