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Brisbane stun NSW to claim Hockey One title in shootout

3 minute read

The Brisbane Blaze have won a thrilling Hockey One men's grand final, claiming victory against the NSW Pride 5-3 in a penalty shootout.

Brisbane have ended the NSW Pride's reign atop the Hockey One men's ranks with a stunning upset shootout win in the grand final.

The Blaze had to regroup to win the shootout 5-3 and deny the Pride a third straight title, after letting slip a 3-1 lead late in regular time of Sunday's decider.

Two penalty corner stunners from NSW star Blake Govers - including one with the final play of the game - forced a 3-3 draw and a dramatic shootout.

But while the Blaze clinically netted all five penalties, Flynn Ogilvie scooped NSW's second shot wide.

Brisbane's Kookaburras midfielder Jake Whetton, who missed the crucial attempt in the gold medal shootout at the Tokyo Olympics, confidently slotted the winning goal to send his team into raptures.

"I've been on the other end of that," Whetton said. "You go back to the drawing board and keep working hard at it and it pays off.

"You put yourself in that situation all year really. It's a specialist skill and I put myself in a position to do something for the group.

"The other boys did it and we back our goalkeeper to make a save, and then put it in the back of the net."

Ahead 3-1 courtesy of Cale Cramer's second-term double and Corey Weyer's penalty corner, the Blaze somehow put their last-second collapse behind them and steadied to claim their shootout.

Fresh from four goals in Saturday's semi-final, Govers put the team on his shoulders with three beauties from penalty corners to drag them back into contention.

The character shown in the victory was not lost on Blaze captain Whetton.

"It's difficult, you've got such a high and then in a matter of seconds, you've got to sort yourself out," he said.

"You have to dump all that stuff, it's essentially a new game, it's five-on-five and the best execution of that skill comes out in those moments.

"I'm just really proud of these boys ... an unbelievable group of players that have shown over the last three seasons of Hockey One they are incredibly hard to beat."

Victory capped a double for the Blaze, with their women's side claiming their grand final with a 4-1 win against Canberra earlier on Sunday.

HC Melbourne took the men's third place earlier on Sunday, coming from behind to beat the Tassie Tigers 2-1.

Goals for captain Josh Simmonds and Ben White earned the win after Jeremy Hayward put the Tigers in front in the first term.

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