Piranhas to victory, Aztecs and Vipers to extra time
Women’s semifinal action in the Hedland Water Polo Association produced some high-quality defence and some exciting results.
In the major semifinal, automatic entry into the March 15 grand final was on the line as the Piranhas led the defending champions Orcas by a goal at the long break. After an impassioned half-time rev-up from goalie Sarah Blair, the Piranhas turned up the heat on the Orcas in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to all but put the game on ice.
Erin Brierley’s second goal of the game was the only score in the last quarter, getting the Piranhas into the big dance in March with a 7-2 win. Both of Orcas’ goals came from Kathryn Fisher in her last game of the season.
The minor elimination semifinal between last season’s runners-up, Vipers, and Aztecs turned into a six-quarter tussle, with two periods of extra time needed to determine the winner. The loser faced the prospect of ending their season on the night and the play reflected the intensity of both teams.
Aztecs led 3-1 at half-time but the young Vipers players kept their determined enthusiasm throughout the second half, keeping the Aztecs scoreless as Jas Kilmartin netted her second and third goals to set the scores level at the end of regulation time.
After a scoreless first extra-time period, Timara Simpson put the Vipers in front from close range before an almost immediate reply from Teneal Russell levelled the scoreline once more.
The final score in the dying seconds of the second extra-time period came from Declan Rahman.
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