Floorball women are national champions
The Peninsula Thunder Floorball Club women's team are national champions after taking out the Women's Division in a combined team at the Australian Floorball Opens.
The Open took place in Canberra from April 24 to 27 and saw teams from the ACT, NSW, Victoria and New Zealand compete for the titles at the National Hockey Centre and the SolarHub ACT Netball Centre.
Peninsula Floorball Club sent both its men's and women's teams.
In the Men's division, the Thunder got off to a rough start with a 5-nil loss to the Pakenham Squishees Floorball Club.
However, they quickly cemented themselves as a threat in their next three games with 9-1 wins over clubs from Wollongong and Canberra and a 5-3 win over the ACT's Dogs of War club.
The Thunder again ran into trouble in their semi-final round against the Squishees, going down 9-1 before ending their run in the competition with an 11-4 loss against the Bondi Raptors, which saw them placed fourth in the division.
The Peninsula's Women's Division team, known as the Thunder Shots, was a combined team featuring a line-up of players from the Peninsula and Bondi Raptors Floorball Clubs.
The Thunder Shots had a solid run through the competition, drawing with the Canberra Chargettes in and Newcastle Beaches in their opening rounds.
The Squishees would again prove to be a force to be reckoned with for the Peninsula, with the Thunder Shots going down 4-nil in their third match and again drawing with the Chargettes 2-2 in their fourth match.
The Thunder Shots first win of the competition came in their second match against Newcastle Beaches with a 4-3 victory.
In their final match of the group stage, the Thunder Shots again found themselves up against the Squishees, who again proved themselves to be the team to beat, recording a 5-3 victory over the Peninsula.
With their combined total point score pushing them into second place on the ladder, the grand final saw the Thunder Shots come up against the Squishees one final time for the competition decider.
Despite their earlier losses to the Pakenham club, the Thunder Shots found their rhythm in the grand final and swept the match with a 5-1 win to be crowned the women's national champions.
Peninsula Floorball Club president Mr Mitchell Fiddock said both the men's and women's results were a boon for the club.
"This was the highest our men's team has ever placed in the competition in the 10 years we've participated," he said.
"It's great to see as it's really pushing us up through the ranks.
"The highest we've ever been before this was seventh, so it's a great result for the club," Mr Fiddock said.
Mr Fiddock also praised the women's team for their enduring effort.
"We don't have enough players at the moment to make a complete competitive women's team but that didn't stop our players who combined with Bondi this year to take out the championship," Mr Fiddock said.
"It's a real testament to our female players, who have now become back-to-back Open champions, after they took out the 2018 title by combining with the Canberra women's team," he said.
According to Mr Fiddock, the club also had three players receive honours from the Opens Director.
Vanessa Dwyer was named Most Valuable Player of the Women's Division for 2019 and named in the Women's All-Star Line-up.
The line-up represents the best players of the Open, with the Peninsula's Amanda Bartrim joining Dwyer on the women's line-up and Hampus Dargren named to the men's.
Mr Fiddock said the club would now be focusing its attention on the Junior Championships in July.
"We are one of the biggest floorball clubs in Australia and we have a large number of juniors who are ready to play and who will be valuable additions to our men's and women's teams one day," Mr Fiddock said.
Interview (Dilon Luke), 8 May 2019
Mitchell Fiddock, Peninsula Thunder Floorball Club
Website, 8 May 2019
Australian Floorball Open results, Floorball ACT