With last years champions Brooklands out of contention, it was now down to Timperley and Sheffield to decide who would become 2012 league champions in an “all or nothing game” on a bitterly cold Sunday evening at Timperley Sports Club.
Timperley put pressure on the Yorkshire side early on, as they raced to a 3-0 lead with goals from Tom Bracegirdle and two from Toby Hawksley who’s second was a neat behind the back finish. Steelers got a goal back but Timperley continued to add a further two, finishing off a great first quarter for the home side to take lead 5-1 into the break.
The second quarter saw Timperley taking their foot of the pedal, allowing Sheffield a chance to get a foothold in the game. Turnovers on transition cost the boys in blue, as both teams settled into the game and it became much more even contest. A further goal from Toby Hawksley kept Steelers at bay, but they got themselves back in the game. At the half time whistle the score was 6-4.
The third quarter saw Steelers again challenge the game leaders and Timperley did just enough to keep their noses in front. Timperley’s Head Coach Mike Armstrong; “we always felt like we could step up a notch if needed but credit to Steelers who never gave in.”
Tom Bracegirdle and Sheffield’s Rhys Jeffery were going at it in the middle, and possession from the face-off X became increasingly important in the latter part of the game. Joe Harris assisted by Toby Hawksley, put away a tidy quick stick after some good build-up play to end the third quarter 7-6 to Timperley.
The final quarter proved the most entertaining… Timperley opened up a 3 goal lead thanks to goals from Myles Anderson on extra-man and Bracegirdle got another (Tim Nicol assisted). The Timperley’s coach had a nail biting final few minutes to the contest; “We decided to go man-down for the last 4 minutes of the game and they got 1 back, but the D did a great job on a 4 man-zone at one point, with Barney Sant making a few crucial saves in the last moments to keep us ahead”
Armstrong added; “It was a great victory and one we’ll savor as we now hold the league, Ted Donnet and Norman Barber Cup simultaneously. It’s something we have worked hard for and the players deserve every success. The next challenge is to retain the cup in the new year and go unbeaten for the remainder of the season, although that in itself is not easy. There is strong competition and in cup competitions anything can happen on the night. The team is currently on a high, motivated and as always determined to win.” Timperley bring home the title they last held in 2010.
Quater Scores: 5-1, 6-4, 7-6, 9-7
Timperley Goals: Tom Bracegirdle 3g, Toby Hawksley 3g, Miles Anderson 1g, Joe Harris 1g, Alex Winton 1g
Sheffield Goals: Isuru Fernando 2g, Adam Jordan 2g, Will Hardy 1g/1a, Alex Hill 1g, Rhys Jeffrey 1g