13 May, 2024

Hurricanes hold Yanac to thrilling draw

A hint of winter greeted the Wimmera’s hockey players at Dimboola on Saturday when round three was concluded with some big matches.

By Simon King

Warracknabeal’s Noah Eilola runs with the ball with Nhill’s Kendra Clark in pursuit.
Warracknabeal’s Noah Eilola runs with the ball with Nhill’s Kendra Clark in pursuit.

The Open division is shaping up for one of its most competitive seasons for several years,
with two close matches on the weekend, and only one win separating first and fourth after
three rounds.

The Nhill Rangers have not enjoyed much success in recent seasons, but they have
impressed so far this season. Although having yet to win a game this year, they are not far

On Saturday evening, they took on the Warrack Hoops, and the scorebook was still blank at halftime despite each team creating shots at goal, but the defences held firm.

A Hoops’ goal five minutes into the third period broke the deadlock, to which they added
another two in the final quarter, but the Rangers kept up the pressure and even earned their
share of penalty corners but were unlucky not to convert.

Royce Bennett was the best on the ground for the Hoops and scored one of their goals, with Sandon Schultz and Tim Jorgensen also amongst their best. Sam Bone, Joseph Knoll, and Brett Tishler stood out for Nhill.

The Horsham Hurricanes are starting to realise some of the potential they have been hinting at for the last few years. With a polished display, they held the Yanac Tigers to a draw, only the second match the reigning premiers have not won in their last forty-five outings since
their last loss.

This was a very quick game, with both teams creating breakaways that pressured the
defences, but some excellent work by the goalkeepers at each end kept the game in the
balance right to the end.

Yanac controlled more of the play as the game progressed, but the Horsham players
combined well to repel every scoring attempt.

It has been over ten seasons since the Yanac Tigers dropped points in two matches in a row, so spare a thought for their next opponents, the Nhill Rangers, who will tackle a team
determined to restore their status quo.

After these results, the Tigers remain a game clear on top of the ladder with ten points, but
the next three teams are equal on six points each, with a goal difference of just four
separating them. Nhill is just outside the top four with two points, but it will only take them a
confidence-boosting win or two to remain in the mix.

- Women -

The Dimboola Roos continue to impress upon their return to the competition this year, and
although they didn’t get the points on Friday evening, they kept the pressure up on Kaniva,
one of the pacesetters over the last few seasons.

Kaniva edged ahead with one goal in an otherwise even first quarter, a margin that remained after two more periods of play at three-quarter time.

Kaniva earned some breathing space with a second goal just a minute and a half after play
resumed for the last period of play and looked to have done enough for a win, but the Roos
did not give up, and Jennie Hauselberger converted a penalty corner to edge them back to
within a goal.

The game remained in the balance for the last nine minutes, but Kaniva was albe to hold off Dimboola and finish with the win, but not without a scare.

Both teams appear destined to have a big say in the outcomes later in the season.
Lisa Stimson, Nyree Hutchins, and Haley Pearse were Kaniva's best players, while Jennie
Hauselberger, Ashlee Baker, and Leah Graham were the Roos’ best.

The match of the round saw the Horsham Jets take on the undefeated Yanac, and after
another titanic tussle, they came away with a comfortable win.

A scoreless first half was not an indicator of what was to come.

Mikayla Mackley opened the scoring for Yanac two minutes after play resumed after
halftime, and they looked as if they were on their way to maintaining their unblemished 2024
record after earning another penalty corner soon after, which they failed to convert.

By the middle of the quarter, the balance of play began to shift, resulting in a Jets score off
the stick of Meredith Heppell. Kelly Krahe gave Horsham the lead just before the last break.

Another evenly contested quarter concluded the game, but a goal by Hannah Mackereth
extended the lead, making it more difficult for Yanac to play themselves back into the game.

The final result was four goals to one after Kelly Krahe scored her second goal for the game by converting a penalty corner after the final whistle.

Defenders Mikayla Mackle, Chloe Zanker, and Lexi Farmers were the better players for
Yanac, and Hannah Werner, Kelly Krahe, and Annabelle Heal shone for the victors.

The Nhill Thunderbirds took control of their game with Warracknabeal with a three-goal first
quarter, and although they only scored twice more, they were never threatened. Stacey
Keller scored two of Nhill’s five goals, and Kendra Clark was their best player. Three players
from the Williamson family, Kate, Ellie, and Sam, were Warracknabeal’s best.

The Horsham Jets have now displaced Yanac at the top of the Women’s ladder, and the
Thunderbirds moved into the top four with their win, but to highlight how close this
competition is, despite their victory over the Dimboola Roos on Friday evening, Kaniva
slipped to fifth. Only one win separates the top five teams.

- Under 16 -

Although it is still early in the season, a gap is beginning to open between the top three
teams and the lower three in the Under 16 competition.

The Nhill Leopards remain the only undefeated team in the Under 16s after a win over the
Warrack Revengers, but the Kaniva Raiders and Yanac Warriors are just two points adrift
after they enjoyed comfortable wins over the Dimboola Kangaroos and Horsham Bombers.

The Revengers currently hold fourth place courtesy of a win in the first round, but there is
still a long way to go in the season, and there is time remaining for all teams to step up.

Next weekend, there are no games scheduled as the Junior Country Championships are
held in Melbourne, and although the Wimmera is not entering any teams this year, ten local
players will take part in the tournament, representing other Associations across the three
age groups.

The local competition will resume on 25 May with round four at Davis Park in Nhill.

Wimmera Hockey Association - Round Three Results

- Open -

Yanac Tigers 0 (Best - B Alexander, S Farmers, R Croot) drew with Horsham Hurricanes 0
(Best - P Mackereth, C Hassall, J Horsfall)
Warracknabeal Hoops 3 (Goals - O Bennett, R Bennett, J Smith; Best - R Bennett, S
Schultz, T Jorgensen) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - S Bone, J Knoll, B Tischler)
Bye - Kaniva Cobras

Points GD
Yanac Tigers 10 6
Warrack Hoops 6 2
Horsham Hurricanes 6 0
Kaniva Cobras 6 -2
Nhill Rangers 2 -6

- Women -

Kaniva 2 (Goals - L Stimson, P Maddern; Best - L Stimson, N Hutchins, H Pearse) defeated
Dimboola Roos 1 (Goal - J Hauselberger; Best - J Hauselberger, A Baker, L Graham)
Horsham Jets 4 (Goals - K Krahe 2, H Mackereth, M Heppell; Best - H Werner, K Krahe, A
Heal) defeated Yanac 1 (Goal - M Mackley; Best - M Mackley, C Zanker, A Farmers)
Nhill Thunderbirds 5 (Goals - S Keller 2, K Clark, C Shurdington, R Clark; Best - ) defeated
Warracknabeal 0 (Best - K Williamson, E Williamson, S Williamson)

Points GD

Horsham Jets 10 6
Yanac Women 8 7
Dimboola Roos 6 6
Nhill Thunderbirds 6 2
Kaniva Women 6 0
Warrack Women 0 -21

- Under 16 -

Kaniva Raiders 6 (Goals - C White 2, L Krelle, R Williams, F Dodson, X Stimson; Best - C
White, L Krelle, J Beattie, X Stimson) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0 (Best - J Ward, R
Williams, V Ward)
Yanac Warriors 6 (Goals - Archie Zanker 2 Asher Zanker 2, H Zanker, E Alexander; Best -
Archie Zanker, Asher Zanker, S Pedie) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - J Schwarz, H
Knoop, J Di Pietro)
Nhill Leopards 4 (Goals - D Clark 2, B Clark, A Trenery; Best - D Clark, T Shue Bee, A
Trenery) defeated Warracknabeal Revengers 0 (Best - M Bentley, J Nuske, E Williamson)

Points GD %
Nhill Leopards 12 12 -
Kaniva Raiders 10 14 567%
Yanac Warriors 10 14 450%
Warrack Revengers 4 -8 38%
Dimboola Kangaroos 0 -14 0%
Horsham Bombers 0 -18 0%

- Under 12 Development Program -

Dimboola Kookaburras 6 (Goals - R Wallace 2, R Hadzig 2, L Elliott, C Elliott) v. Kaniva
Rampagers 0
Yanac Lowan Stars 0 v. Horsham Black Hawks 3 (goals - J Mackereth2, J Luy)
Warracknabeal Avengers 1 (Goal - M Peters) v. Nhill Bandits 3 (Goasls - B Cannell 2, D


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