Thistles coach Jay Pavitt discusses his team’s position at halftime in Sunday’s A-Grade match at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Thistles had to win to secure a grand final spot. Picture: David Lems
Thistles coach Jay Pavitt discusses his team’s position at halftime in Sunday’s A-Grade match at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Thistles had to win to secure a grand final spot. Picture: David Lems

Thistles intel could surprise Hancocks in grand final

ACCOMPLISHED A-Grade player Jay Pavitt laughed off suggestions he had enough intel to surprise Hancocks in this weekend's grand final.

The first-year Thistles coach is a long-term Hancocks representative with extensive premiership and representative experience.

He'll oversee Thistles' tactics in Sunday's grand final at the Ipswich Hockey Complex after lining up for Hancocks in the men's title decider 24 hours earlier.

"I don't know about that,'' Pavitt said when asked if his inside knowledge of Hancocks would help Thistles finish their first season back in A-Grade with a final victory.

"It will be a lot of fun.''

After Hancocks shut down Wests 3-0 on Friday night, Thistles had to beat Easts in Sunday's final qualifying match of the revamped Ipswich season.

Having played consistently for some weeks, Thistles were expected to win comfortably.

However, the Tigers had other ideas scoring a second half goal to reduce the deficit to 2-1. The Tigers were finishing strong, threatening to salvage a draw, thereby denying Thistles a grand final spot.

"It got a bit nerve-racking towards the end,'' Pavitt said.

"Easts are a great team. They competed right until the last minute like they do every time.

"We knew we had to put it to them and were lucky to get the 2-1.''

FINAL BATTLES: Thrilling tussles to decide grand final teams

Thistles were in a powerful position at halftime, leading 2-0 through successful penalty corner goals by Phoebe Hudson and Tayla Madden.

However, the Tigers put Thistles under pressure when Crystal Brown found the net with 10 minutes to go.

"It was a great result in the end, which was good,'' Pavitt said.

Thistles A-Grade players relax during their halftime break being 2-0 up in a crucial last qualifying match. Picture: David Lems
Thistles A-Grade players relax during their halftime break being 2-0 up in a crucial last qualifying match. Picture: David Lems

Pavitt said A-Grade newcomers Thistles would enjoy playing Hancocks who have been regular grand finalists for a number of seasons.

With multiple premiership winners Wests missing out this year, the door opens for another team to savour success.

"It's great. It's been such a tight season,'' Pavitt said.

"Across all four teams, every game has been close as so it's been awesome.''

Thistles started with a series of draws before strengthening their finals hopes later in their campaign.

"They've been a great bunch of girls and they've tried really hard this year and put in a lot of effort, which has been great,'' he said.

The team features a number of Brisbane competition players and girls from the Ipswich area.

They include captain Nicole Yearbury who played a key role in past Thistles Reserve Grade successes.

Pavitt said his team would have more depth for the grand final with some players from Met West duty.

As for being recruited by Thistles club president Pauline Alchin to coach the women, Pavitt said it was an enjoyable opportunity.

"I love it,'' he said. "It's good to see the girls play some good hockey and really enjoy it.

"It's great to be in the final.''

Pavitt scored a goal in Hancocks final hitout before Saturday night's men's grand final against Norths.

Hancocks beat Wests 6-1 and Norths overpowered Easts 7-3 warming up for their season-ended duel.

Trent Goldenstein scored a hat-trick for the Devils.

After the last round of games, the grand final teams have been decided. They are:

Saturday

9am: E Grade Boys - Hancock Brothers v Easts Black

10.30am: E Grade Girls - Easts v Norths

12.15pm: D Grade Boys - Easts v Norths

2pm: D Grade Girls - Swifts v North Western Strikers

3.45pm: A2 Grade Men- Hancock Brothers v Swifts

5.30pm: A2 Grade Women - Thistles v Bellbowrie

7.15pm: A Grade Men - Hancock Brothers v Norths

Sunday

9am: C Grade Girls - Norths v Hancock Brothers

10.45am: R2 Grade Women - Swifts v Vets

12.15pm: R2 Grade Men - Norths v Easts Black

2pm: Reserve Women - Northern Strikers v Swifts

3.45pm: Reserve Men - Hancock Brothers v Norths

5.30pm: A Grade Women - Hancock Brothers v Thistles

STATE OF PLAY

Ipswich Hockey Association Inc

Men's and boys results September 11-13: A Grade - Hancock Brothers 6 (Ryan Smith 3, Hayden Michel 2, Jay Pavitt) d Wests 1 (Daniel Wesphal); Norths 7 (Trent Goldenstein 3, Zac Profke 2, Brad Smith 2) d Easts 3 (Jacob Robertson 2, Keegan Bezuidenhout).

Reserve Grade: Hancock Brothers 1 (J Butta) d Wests 0; Norths 6 (A Buckley 2, N Maddocks 2, C Doyle, R Baxter) d Easts 2 (S Bayliss, J White).

R2 Grade: Norths 3 (T Ross 2, L Lambert) d Hancock Brothers 1 (L McQueen); Easts Black 3 (A Gawthorne, G Singh, A McDonald) d Wests 1 (J Wardell); Bellbowrie 4 (B Payton 2, A Backen, H Hocking) d Easts Gold 1 (A Hansen).

A2 Grade: Hancock Brothers 4 (B Kinnane, D Howells, J Grant, J Burns) drew Swifts 4 (C Meloury, W Pascoe, Z Pascoe, L Pommerey); Northern Strikers 2 (I Sagri, A Woods) drew Easts 2 (T Cook, R Tange).

D Grade: Northern Strikers 5 (J Donald 3, F Johnston, M Doyle) d Hancock Brothers 4 (C White 2, S Jackwitz, M Hogan); Easts 7 (T Savage 2, L Morris 2, K Wescke, C Malcolm, A Richardson) d Wests 1 (S Schoenknecht).

E Grade: Easts Gold 2 (C Malcolm 2) d Western Strikers 0; Easts Black 5 (L Morris 2, L Mantell, N Morris, I Welsh) d Norths 2 (M Doyle, K Hill).

Women's and girls results September 11-13: A Grade - Hancock Brothers 3 (Layla Eleison, Natalie Davison, Robyn Clark) d Wests 0; Thistles 2 (Tayla Madden, Phoebe Hudson) d Easts 1 (Crystal Brown).

Reserve Grade: Swifts 1 (C Dixon) d Easts 0; Northern Strikers 3 (B Forde, G Scott, Y Leeder) d Wests 0; Thistles 2 (L Pearce, N Yearbury) d Hancock Brothers 1 (K Nunn).

R2 Grade: Vets 4 (S Francis 2, R FitzGerald) d Bellbowrie Gold 2 (M Casey, S Ashton); Easts 4 (M Hoyland-Butler 2, A McPherson, T Fields) d Bellbowrie Green 1 (L Clevens)

A2 Grade: Veterans 2 (L Fisher, C Gorton) d Swifts 0; Thistles 4 (L Steele 2, K Hislop, C Gotting) d Hancock Brothers 1 (M Ransden); Bellbowrie 2 (T McCullough, D Greenalsh) d Norths 1 (C Ellison).

C Grade: Thistles 3 (F Spall, J Butler, J Klerks) d Bellbowrie 0; Norths 4 (D Wenzel-Stephan 2, C McDowell, L Pickering) d Hancock Brothers 1 (L Doyle).

D Grade: Easts 6 (S Suey 3, G Mooney 2, E Hargraves) d Hancock Brothers 0; Swifts 2 (S Baldwin, G Dombroski) d North Western Strikers 1 (M Doyle).

E Grade: Norths 5 (B Profke 2, C Burns, H Johnson, I Jeffrey) d Western Strikers 0; Easts 13 (S Savage 4, V Tange 3, J Hansen 2, M Mole, O Vermeer, L Smith, A Adie) d Thistles 0;

Norths 8 (H Johnson, C Burns, C Sullivan, B Profke) d Swifts 1 (C Philp); Easts 17 (S Savage 5, A Adie 2, L Hooper 2, E Denton 2, M Mole, D Hollis, L Smith, O Vermeer, J Hansen, V Tange) d Western Strikers 0.