18 June, 2024

Thrillers highlight round six

The latest round of Wimmera hockey began with an enthralling match in the Women’s division that saw the result in doubt until close to the end on Friday evening and concluded with a spirited draw between the leading teams in the Open competition on Saturday evening.

By Simon King

The Dimboola Roos’ defenders combine to clear the ball. PHOTO: SIMON KING
The Dimboola Roos’ defenders combine to clear the ball. PHOTO: SIMON KING

On Friday evening, the players were met with challenging wintry conditions, contrasting with the mild weather that greeted those playing on Saturday, but despite the weather, both days saw some thrilling hockey action, with the round producing several significant results that have had a significant effect on the ladders.

- Open -

The evenness of the Open competition was on show, with the Kaniva Cobras continuing their dominance over the Hurricanes and the Yanac Tigers and Warrack Hoops playing out another epic encounter that ended in a draw.

Hurricanes v Cobras

With both teams needing a win to shore up their place in the top four, the Cobras’ Josh Bedford opened the scoring with a field goal nine minutes into the match to give his team the lead at quarter time.

Kaniva continued to attack hard into the second quarter, putting the Hurricanes’ defence under increasing pressure. Some solid work by Lars Simmons in goals and Jonathan Horsfall at fullback repelled more scoring attempts than they conceded, but through their weight of attacking moves, Lachie Shultz scored a field goal, and Lachie Mills converted a penalty corner to give the Cobras a lead of three goals by halftime.

The play was more even at the start of the third quarter, with the Hurricanes unable to take advantage after earning several penalty corners, but the game came to a premature end midway through the quarter following a collision between two players.

After a delay while dealing with the injury, the match was abandoned, although enough time had been played for the result to be declared official.

The Cobras earned four points for a three-goal victory, with Mills, defender Adam Wallis, and Bedford named as their best, and Charles Hassall, Maddy Spano, and Horsfall playing well for the Hurricanes.

Hoops v Tigers

As expected, this game started at a fast pace and did not slow down at all during the following sixty minutes of intense play and while both teams created opportunities during a very even first half, neither could find the goals, and the scorecard was still empty at halftime.

The deadlock was eventually broken late in the third quarter when Todd Alexander got on to a crisp shot from a penalty corner to put the Tigers ahead. This looked enough to earn them the win as the play continued to swing from one end of the ground to the other, but neither team’s attackers could breach their opponent’s defences until Marcus Williamson shot the ball past the Tigers’ defenders to equal the scores in the last quarter.

This gave the Tigers their second draw for the season, keeping their unbeaten run of forty-seven matches intact. However, it also keeps the Hoops within reach of the top of the ladder if the reigning premiers’ impressive streak is to be broken.

Tim Jorgensen controlled the midfield for the Hoops from centre half-back, aided by some significant contributions by Sandon Schultz and Heath Johns, while Todd Alexander and Brad Alexander dominated the Tigers’ forward line, and Luke Reichenbach made a notable contribution at half-back.

These results see only four points separating the top three teams on the Open ladder, and there is now a six-point gap between third and fourth, and with the Nhill Rangers gaining two points for the bye, they remain outside the top four but close enough to still be in contention for the finals.

- Women -

Roos v Thunderbirds

One of the season's most enthralling and entertaining matches was played on Friday evening in very cold and damp conditions.

With the incentive of a potential return to the top four, the Nhill Thunderbirds started strongly with the opening goal early in the first quarter, but the Roos, who needed a win to consolidate their spot amongst the leaders, replied late in the quarter to tie the score at the first break.

Nhill had regained the lead by halftime after scoring their second goal six minutes into the second quarter, but the Roos moved ahead for the first time in the game during the third quarter with two unanswered goals.

The last period of play was close, with the Thunderbirds drawing level with a goal with nine minutes to go, but Dimboola retook the lead two minutes later and held it until the final whistle to record their third win.

The game featured seven individual goal scorers: Kelly Marlow, Vicki Elliott, Leah Graham, and Jasper Ward for Dimboola and Kendra Clark, Rachel Clark, and Naomi Kuhnell for the Thunderbirds. Jennie Hauselberger continued her consistent season with another nomination as the Roos’ best player, and Naomi Kuhnell played well for the Birds.

Jets v. Kaniva

In another close matchup, the Horsham Jets outlasted Kaniva to earn their fourth win for the season and rise into second place on the ladder.

The Jets dominated the play in the first quarter but were unable to score, and despite a more even second period of play, Horsham made it onto the scoreboard to hold the advantage at halftime.

After the Jets added to their score three minutes into the third quarter, the balance of play swung into Kaniva’s favour across the remainder of the game, but some solid defence prevented them from scoring, and Horsham registered the win after these two had played out a draw last time they met.

Maddy Spano played well for the victors after also featuring amongst the best players for the Hurricanes earlier in the afternoon, and veteran Launa Shilling marshalled their defence well. Kaniva’s better players all spent time in their back line, with Haley Williams, Nyree Hutchins, and Leonie Shurdington all making significant contributions to keeping the margin as small as it was.

Warracknabeal v. Yanac

Yanac kept its grip on the top spot on the Women’s ladder with a solid win over Warracknabeal, which they set up with a dominant first quarter in which they scored five goals without conceding any.

To their credit, their inexperienced opponents did stem the flow of goals, but Yanac’s sheer number of attacking moves saw them double this total over the next three quarters.

Caitlyn Alexander, Sharon Croot, and Imogen Hedt each scored two goals for Yanac, and Warracknabeal's best players included Olinda Elsom, goalkeeper Melanie Bentley, and forward Ellie Williamson.

Only six points separate the top four on the Women’s ladder, highlighting a very even season, and while the Thunderbirds are eight points adrift in fifth, there is still enough time left in the regular season for them to make up this margin.

Warracknabeal have a much more difficult task if they are to return to the finals, as they have fallen off the pace and are fourteen points behind fourth.

Under 16

The top three teams in the Under 16 competition are drawing away from the rest after they
all scored comfortable victories in round six.

The Yanac Warriors scored a big enough win over the Warrack Revengers to rise above the Kaniva Raiders into the top spot on the ladder, but the Raiders’ victory over the Horsham Bombers has them on the same points as the Warriors and just one behind in their goal difference in second place.

Archie Zanker dominated the scoring for the Warriors, with four of their eight goals, while Ellie Williamson and Noah Eilola were the players to find the goals for the Revengers, while the Raiders’ Charlie White also had a day out in front of goals, scoring four of his team’s five, and was named as their best player. Defenders Justin Schwarz and Hannah Mackereth were the standout players for the Bombers.

The Nhill Leopards are not far behind after defeating the young Kangaroos in tough, cold, and damp conditions on Friday evening. Oliver Bone and Parrett Clark scored two goals each for the Leopards, and Jasper Ward and Ryan Williams played well for the Kangaroos.

The action moves to Yanac for the first time this season for round seven next weekend,when all three competitions will again feature important matchups that will significantly impact the positions on the ladders.

Wimmera Hockey Association - Round Six Results

- Open -

Kaniva Cobras 3 (Goals - J Bedford, L Schultz, L Mills; Best - L Mills, A Wallis, J Bedford)
defeated Horsham Hurricanes 0 (Best - C Hassall, M Spano, J Horsfall)
Warracknabeal Hoops 1 (Goal - M Williamson; Best - T Jorgensen, S Schultz, H Johns)
drew with Yanac Tigers 1 (Goal - T Alexander; Best - T Alexander, B Alexander, L

Bye - Nhill Rangers

Pts GD

Yanac Tigers 18 11
Warrack Hoops 16 5
Kaniva Cobras 14 1
Horsham Hurricanes 8 -5
Nhill Rangers 4 -12

- Women -

Dimboola Roos 4 (Goals - K Marlow, V Elliott, L Graham, J Ward; Best - J Hauselberger, L
Graham, K Marlow) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 3 (Goals - K Clark, R Clark, N Kuhnell; Best
- N Kuhnell, K Clark, R Clark)

Horsham Jets 2 (Goals - K Krahe, A Heal; Best - M Spano, L Schilling, H Mackereth)
defeated Kaniva 0 (Best - H Williams, N Hutchins, L Shurdington)

Yanac Women 10 (Goals - C Alexander 2, S Croot 2, I Hedt 2, E Alexander, M Mackley, S
Hedt, J Bound; Best - M Mackley, S Hedt, C Alexander) defeated Warracknabeal 0 (Best - O
Elson, M Bentley, E Williamson)

Pts GD

Yanac Women 20 30
Horsham Jets 18 9
Kaniva Women 14 13
Dimboola Roos 14 2
Nhill Thunderbirds 6 -7
Warrack Women 0 -47

- Under 16 -

Nhill Leopards 9 (Goals - O Bone 2, B Clark 2, T Bee, D Clark, C Bone, B Cannell, D Bee;
Best - D Clark, O Bone, B Clark) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0 (Best - J Ward, R
Williams, V Ward)

Kaniva Raiders 5 (Goals - C White 4, L Krelle; Best - C White, J Beattie, L Krelle) defeated
Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - J Schwarz, H Mackereth, K Besselaar)

Yanac Warriors 8 (Goals - Archie Zanker 4, Asher Zanker 2, Annabella Zanker, H Zanker;
Best - Archie Zanker, Asher Zanker, Annabella Zanker) defeated Warracknabeal Revengers
2 (Goals - E Williamson, N Eilola; Best - N Eilola, E Williamson, S Williamson)

Pts GD

Yanac Warriors 22 29
Kaniva Raiders 22 28
Nhill Leopards 16 17
Horsham Bombers 8 -15
Warrack Revengers 4 -26
Dimboola Kangaroos 0 -33

- Under 12 Development Program -

Dimboola Kookaburras 1 (Goal - R Hadzig) v. Nhill Bandits 3 (Goals - D Bee 2, A Marra)
Horsham Black Hawks 1 (Goal - H MItchell) v. Kaniva Rampagers 1 (Goal - L Williams)

Warracknabeal Avengers 1 (Goal - Z Nuske) v. Yanac Lowan Stars 2 (Goals - S Hedt, S


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