Upper Great Southern Hockey Association’s Liam Sweeney and Lake Grace-Kukerin’s Fletcher Taylor were part of a WA men side that gained redemption at the Australian Country Championships after an electrifying gold medal performance against Victoria on Saturday in Shepparton. The WA side finished their pool games in fourth but bounced back to win back-to-back finals against New South Wales and host State Victoria. With their 5-0 drubbing to Queensland in last year’s decider still fresh in their minds, WA were able to right those wrongs and record a gritty 1-0 win against Victoria to claim the title. Bunbury’s Brayden Dalton scored the only goal from a well-taken penalty corner in the 40th minute with Victoria unable to break through a stiff WA defence before the final whistle. Victoria tallied up a total of nine penalty corners across the four quarters but could not find the required leveller as WA held on, sparking exuberant scenes all round. Earlier, WA notched a stunning semifinal upset against NSW who finished undefeated across their five pool games to top their group. NSW were crushing 6-2 winners in their earlier pool clash but a classy brace from Taylor helped guide WA to a memorable 4-2 victory in the all-important semi. Jack Tosana opened scores in the second minute before Taylor slammed home two goals in the 19th and 35th minutes. NSW found one back through captain Brandan Horner, but Darren Parkes, who also filled the role as WA captain, settled WA nerves with a converted penalty stroke in the 44th minute. Horner found a consolation goal but it proved too late as WA took their biggest scalp of the campaign. Before their perfect finals charge, WA finished the pool games with a record of two wins, two losses and one draw. They rounded out the qualifying games in positive fashion, prevailing 4-1 over SA on Wednesday as Lower Great Southern’s Hayden Mills and Parkes both scored in the rout. Dalton and Sweeney were the other goal scorers for WA while Riley Burgess scored for SA. Sweeney finished with two goals in the tournament and Taylor netted three in WA colours. NSW were defeated 4-1 by Queensland in the bronze medal game.