It has been a few years since Sydney and Parkes met in a state championship final. The last time, the result went Parkes way, so Sydney were keen to ensure the result went their way and they could successfully defend the title they won in 2019.
Conversely, Parkes, only promoted from B Division in 2019, were keen to show that a country side could beat the boys from the city.
As expected, both sides played expansive hockey, with Parkes in the asendancy early. Mark Greaves getting a two minute suspension for a poorly timed tackle helped Parkes exert early pressure. Sydney weathered the storm and fought their way back into the game.
Neither team could break down their opponents defense and the teams went into half time locked in a scoreless draw.
Three minutes after half time, Craig Boorman slotted home the opening goal, after Dave Hogan earned a two minute suspension for a poor tackle.
Dave Hogan featured again soon after, for the wrong reasons. A shot at goal took a nasty deflection from a defenders stick and struck him directly on the nose. It was pleasing to see the spirit of masters hockey in immediate effect with players and medical staff from both teams assisting to ensure his well-being.
Thankfully, scans after the match showed Hoags had suffered nothing more serious than a broken nose, black eyes and bruising to the face. Sydney wishes him a speedy recovery.
From the resulting penalty corner, Stuart Tanswell slammed home a straight shot to equalise.
Despite concerted attacks from both teams in the last ten minutes, neither team could break the deadlock.
Golden goal extra time kicked off, and Sydney was almost immediately reduced to ten players when Dennis Van Es earned a green card for a careless tackle. Parkes were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage, and the teams swapped ends at half time still locked at one goal a piece.
As the managers were working out who was going to be taking a turn in the impending shoot-out, Kamal Naqvi powered through the left inner channel, drove into the circle and fired a pass square towards the penalty spot. With a deft touch, Craig Boorman deflected the ball past the desperate keeper and into the net to give Sydney victory.
Congratulations to Sydney, NSW Over 50's A Division Champions for 2020!