2015: Premier Men
CPL Round Finish: 1st=
CPL Final Standing: 2nd
Coach: Shane Maddaford
Bradley Shaw (C)
Gareth Stewart (GK)
Matt Moore (C)
Sean Poulsen (GK)
The 2015 Season in Pictures (Highs and Lows)
CPL Opening Day:
It looked like it was going to be a long season as Southern failed to make any form of impact in their first match in the blue as Carlton Redcliff's pulled the Southern men to pieces in a 6-3 defeat. What we didn't know, is that this was going to be the last match before the Stingers 10 match winning streak.
Match Day 3: Shield Success
Easily the match of the season for the Stingers. After recovering from the opening day defeat with a strong 4-1 win over Avon mid week, the Stingers came up against the shield holders and always tough opposition, the Harewood Hunters and one of the most fierce rivalries in Canterbury Hockey. Harewood having the better of Selwyn over the previous season, the Stingers were going in the under dogs. Going into this match, the Hunters had held the challenge shield since about August 2013. No fear from the Stingers, just adrenaline and this match was to change the course of the whole season.
There was always one goal in it, with Harewood having the advantage throughout the game, but an equalizer in the last 8 minutes lead for an empathic finish. With less than a minute remaining, Sam Lane put the ball in the net to give the Stingers a vital 3 points, the win, and the shield. The celebrations showed how much it meant for the Stingers, and it sent a message out to everyone that Southern United were here for business.
End of Round One:
The Stingers had battled through the tough early on, and had to maintain there good form throughout the remaining matches of the first round. The final match of round one was among us, as Southern brushed aside the Hornby Vipers to finish their first round top of the table! The Stingers were on an incredblie winning streak of 9 matches.
At the time, throwing away a 2 goal lead and slumping to a 2 all draw with Avon on Club Day was bad enough annnd the end of a winning streak... so many dismal feelings about this match, we didn't think it would get any worse. But looking back at it, this draw essentially cost us the President's Shield Title. After losing out on goal difference, we needed this win come the end of round two.
So, we hung onto the shield for the whole round and the Stingers turned up with shield on the line again. Harewood desperate to have it back, we all knew how important this match was. At the end of it all, a major contrast to the last fixture as the Stingers managed a comfortable 3 - 1 win over the Hunters to take the Stingers 3 points clear at the top of the table and a comfortable buffer as the presidents shield dream started to feel like a reality.
The 14 match unbeaten streak had to come to an end eventually. With the absense of star striker Sam Lane, some may say that was to blame... but the reality is, the Stingers just failed to turn up on the day. The energy and passion showed by the old boys lads was all there, and you'd almost think the Stingers only started to want it with about 10 minutes to go when they were 2.1 down. A loss that was needed to bring the Southern lads back down to earth, with the semi finals just over the horizon.
The big questoin was, how would the Southern Stingers deal with the one team who have beaten them this season. Second match of round two, after a poor perfomance against Avon the week before. This match had big question mark hovering over it leading into 3 of the most important and toughest matches in the season to date. In the end, the Stingers brushed aside Carlton and continued to retain the shield leading into the second of the three big matches, Harewood.
First BRACE for Newbie:
Jessie Forsyth had a fantastic debut season for the Southern Stingers in the CPL. Our third top goal scorer, and this match against Marist on quite possibly the worst day (weather wise) showed why. An improved Marist side held out well, but in the end the inevitable came and the Stingers dispatched Marist 4 nil in torrential rain on an awful Saturday evening at Nunweek
Matt Moore bows out:
The emotions were running high as the Southern Stingers had to play their last match with their long standing captain Matt Moore. Matty Moore, or captain flat stick had a huge presense in the team. Whether it was his general playing ability or his great attributes as a leader and role model. Matt ended his CPL career with a goal on the card and a win in the bag against the Vipers. Who knows though, Matt is still young. He may be back, good luck in Dunedin Matt Moore.
SEMI vs. Carlton Redcliffs:
The Southern Stingers were able to unleash some revenge for there opening day fixture with Carlton Redcliffs. After a rise in form from midfielder Delane Traber, saw Traber bag a brace as the Stingers cruised in the final with a 3 - 1 win. In the other match saw Harewood take out old boys in a penalty shoot out to advance to the final and setup a grand finale with the Southern Stingers.
No Fairytale Ending:
It was to be no fairytale ending for the Stingers, as they went down 3-1 to the Harewood Hunters. Although 80% of the crowd was behind the Stingers, they still couldn't manage to find the net. The match was hard fought, and could have went eitehr way. Harewood were more clinical with there PC's and in the end that was all that mattered. A damper to the end of the season, but there is always next year and the Southern Stingers will come back even stronger next season. Bring on 2016.
Although the end wasn't what we wanted, the Stingers can hold there head high. They exceeded all expecations considering the goal at the start of the season was to finish in the top 4. The Stingers almost made the dream a reality, but with a very young squad... the Stingers will see some silverware in the coming seasons.