'WE MADE IT COUNT': Queensland had a 2-1 win over Victoria in the final of the Australian Under-21s hockey championships at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah.
'WE MADE IT COUNT': Queensland had a 2-1 win over Victoria in the final of the Australian Under-21s hockey championships at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah. Mitchell Craig

Emotional win for Queensland in U21 hockey

QUEENSLAND finished its unbeaten run with a 2-1 win over Victoria in the final of the Australian under-21 hockey championships at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah.

They set up in the win in the second quarter when Jade Smith and Morgan Mathison scored goals within two minutes of each other.

The Maroons were made to work in the final quarter when Madison Scott scored a goal for Victoria with nine minutes to go.

"We talked about making this tournament count for something and the girls have certainly done that,” coach Nikki Taylor said.

"A few of them are moving out of the under-21 age division so it's certainly an emotional win.

"A lot of these girls have come through together all the way from under-13s.”

History was against Queensland coming in to the tournament with New South Wales winning the title the last two years.

However, they were always going to be hard to beat with current Hockeyroos players Ambrosia Malone and Rebecca Greiner in the side.

Greiner captained the team for the gold medal game while Malone was named Player of the Final.

"They really play as a team and they did it for each other,” Taylor said.

"Any number of girls could have been Player of the Final, it was just that sort of game.

"We knew if we used our talent and individual skills we could win this year.”

Greiner and Malone now live in Perth where most of the Hockeyroos team is based.

They used the Lismore tournament as a hit-out before they head to Japan ahead of Olympic qualifiers.

"It's nice to come back to this level where we can get more involved and play with our friends,” Malone said.

"There was probably some expectation but this team would have been strong with or without us.

Earlier, Western Australia claimed the bronze medal when Ciara Faichney scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over South Australia.



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