Sifani Make The Arena Nationals Final in the 15 Goal.
A Semi-final win for Sifani at the RCBPC in the 15 Goal Arena Nationals against Regal Warriors see them go through to the Grand Final.
The Semi-final was played on Friday 20 January with the Final scheduled for Sunday 22 but due to the frozen ground has been postponed until conditions improve. With concern for the players’ and horses’ safety it was decided the icy conditions would make the ground too hazardous to play at this competitive level.
It was a game of two halves with Sifani starting extremely strong, controlling the play and converting their chances. There was a flurry of goals in the first chukka from Ryan and Michael, and Ryan pushed home the advantage as the Regal Warriors started giving away penalties. At the hooter at the end of the first chukka the score stood at 7-1.
The second chukka was also won by Sifani, but Regal Warriors were starting to settle and get better organized. Ryan was hitting the penalties well and keeping the pressure on but the Regal Warriors had almost matched them goal for goal bringing the score to 12-5.
After the break to roll the arena the teams came back out but a referee’s decision to not award a penalty to Ryan seemed to be a turning point for Hilali Noordeen’s Sifani team. From that point they seemed to become unsettled and their problems were further impacted as Ryan was not able to capitalize on the penalties. Regal Warriors were closing the gap quickly and at the end of the chukka converted a penalty to bring the score to 13-9.
Sifani’s lead was still substantial but Regal Warriors definitely had the momentum and wind in their sails entering the fourth chukka. This was going to be a nail biting finale and it didn’t disappoint. Within two minutes Regal Warriors had scored 3 goals, bringing the score to 13-12. Sifani were next to score, but there were 2 minutes on the clock and Regal Warriors were keeping the pressure on. With under half a minute left the difference was reduced to one goal (14-13) and Sifani needed to hold on. But the drama continued with a foul awarded to Regal Warriors in the last second of play. The penalty was converted to draw the game 14-14 and force an extra chukka to decide the game. At this point the luck turned back in the favor of Sifani who succeeded in scoring the crucial goal.
Grand Final: Sifani vs Four Quarters (date to be announced).