THE battle for second position in the Women’s A-Grade competition heated up on Saturday at Beatty Park with Triton claiming a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Melville Marlins.
It turned out to be the only game played in Round 9 of the Women’s A-Grade competition and it with it the penultimate round of action before the semi finals, it was Triton’s last chance to keep their hopes of a top two finish alive.
But with the experience of Dayna O’Leary and Cathryn Earl, and Tess Hosking, the Paul Oberman-coached Triton were able to hold on for the crucial 9-8 victory to set up a thrilling finish to the regular season.
The Melville Marlins came into the game on Saturday at Beatty Park with the chance to cement second position on the table, and they started impressively with the opening two goals courtesy of Sarah Leavy and Brooke Pensini.
It was Dayna O’Leary who got Triton on the board soon after but Luci Marsh ensured the Marlins’ impressive start with another goal to give them the 3-1 lead after just three minutes.
Hannah Nelson got one back for Triton but Marsh responded immediately for Triton to make it 4-2 as the scintillating high-tempo opening quarter continued.
The next two goals went the way of Triton firstly with a classy shot from range by Cathryn Earl and then a penalty conversion from O’Leary. Melville regained the lead thanks to Madeleine Quinn but it was 5-5 at quarter-time with Triton scoring in extra time with a minute left through Emma Putt.
Things really tightened up the rest of the way and scoring became difficult especially considering the quality of goalkeepers with Tess Hosking and Lilian Hedges in the respective cages.
There was just the two goals scored in the second quarter and both went the way of Triton courtesy of Earl and O’Leary as they took the lead for the first time in the game to be on top 7-5 by half-time and at the change of ends.
The gap was back to one to start the second with a goal to the Marlins from Quinn in extra before Triton regained the two-goal lead just before three quarter-time with another goal to O’Leary.
It was again a one-goal game midway through the fourth quarter when Pensini scored for the Marlins to set to set up a thrilling finish. But Triton answered through O’Leary and held on to win the crucial game 9-8.
Dayna O’Leary ended up scoring four goals for Triton and Cathryn Earl two while Luci Marsh, Madeleine Quinn and Brooke Pensini all scored two goals for the Melville Marlins.
O’Leary received the three votes, Quinn two and Hedges one.
It sets the stage for a thrilling finish to the Women’s A-Grade regular season with the two matches in Round 10 on Saturday seeing the Melville Marlins play UWA City Beach at HBF Stadium, and Applecross take on Triton at Bicton Pool.
The Marlins can guarantee second position with a win over UWA but should they fail to win, if Triton manages to hand Applecross their first defeat of the season then they will claim second spot.