Sale Hockey Club claimed its third straight East Gippsland Hockey Association premiership in a 5-0 victory over Maffra in the EGHA Women’s Grand Final on Saturday, September 17.

Sale Women dominated the field from the first whistle blow, with outstanding performances from newcomers Olivia Slifirski, Maddi Richards and returning veteran Ann Mitchell.

Sale Hockey Club’s Maddi Richards, Caitlin Frisina, coach Mark Benfield, Bianca Klopper and Jac Southall.

Sale captain Prue McNaughton said Slifirski and Richards had been excellent additions to the team.

“We gained some fantastic new players this season,” McNaughton said. “Olivia is from Melbourne and came to Sale to complete her med placement; she is a fantastic player and has been an excellent addition to the team.

“Maddi, who recently moved here from Adelaide, has been an incredible asset throughout the season, and we are very excited to have her on the team next season.”

Richards was voted best on ground in the Grand Final.

 

The return of Sale veteran Ann Mitchell served the defensive line well throughout the 2022 season.

“Ann is such a solid player,” McNaughton said. “She is a rock in the half-back line.”

Sale Women also recruited former Maffra player Caitlin Frisina at the start of the season, another fantastic addition to the team.

Frisina won the EGHA Women’s best and fairest award.

Sale Hockey Club’s Olivia Slifirski in the attacking D.

A determined Sale took to the field, sights set on another premiership title, and after two halves, a total of 60 minutes, the 2022 EGHA Grand Final was complete.

“We dominated for the entire game, to be honest,” McNaughton said. “Even though we were the dominant team, the whole game still felt tense knowing Maffra’s capability to pile on goals quickly.”

Sale Women’s 5-0 win over Maffra might be cause for a new trophy case, considering the number of flags they have won in recent years.

In her eighth senior season with Sale, McNaughton revealed that this year’s Sale Women’s team was the best to date.

“We played so well as a team, spreading the play and using the whole field in the Grand Final and throughout the season; the best team to play in the last eight years,” she said.

While the EGHA might be over for the year, returning to the field in April 2023, the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex hosts social hockey every Monday evening to keep the game going all year round.

Registrations for the next term of social hockey, from October 17 until April 3, are now open. You can register a team or find more information about summer social hockey at the Gippsland Regional Sporting Complex website.