|Results in the Wimmera Hockey Association season returned to ‘normal’ this week with all but one going according to ladder positions, although some were not as straightforward as the scores would suggest.
The Kaniva Women continue to build their credentials as the approach their first finals series for many seasons with a win over the higher ranked Horsham Jets and the competition leading Dimboola Women survived a scare against a tenacious Warrack Women who led for half of the game and it was only two late goals, one of which was scored off a short corner played out after the final whistle, which game them the win.
In the Open competition the Kaniva Cobras also left it until the last minute of their game against the Horsham Hurricanes to score the winning goal to maintain second place on their ladder.
Above - Brooke McMaster of the Dimboola Roos’ clears the ball from defence. - Photo by Simon King
The Horsham Hurricanes demonstrated that they are not yet a spent force in 2017 when they pushed the second placed Kaniva Cobras for the whole game and were only defeated by a goal scored in the last minute of the game.
A scoreless first half contrasted with three goals after the break, which started when Sophie Robinson put the Hurricanes ahead 18 minutes into the half, which was matched by Lachlan Clark ten minutes later.
The game looked destined to finish as a draw until Duncan Shalders scored for the Cobras in the last minute to seal the win, and maintain their hold on second place on the ladder.
Clark, Dave Cole and Shalders were the better players for the victors and defender Brydon Tischler, goal keeper Joel Wilkosz and forward William Gulline played well for the Hurricanes.
A more disciplined Hoops team took to the Kaniva field to take on the Dimboola Burras and they came out with the points for the first time in a month to get their season back on track.
After establishing a one goal lead through Ethan Schilling in the first half, the Hoops built on this when Cameron Bardell trapped an aerial pass from Marcus Williamson and scored. Barry Schilling scored a third goal late in the game to confirm the win.
Bardell, Williamson and Sandon Schultz earned the best player votes for the Hoops and Brett Tischler, Jack Lovett and Beau Lovett stood out for the Burras.
The Yanac Tigers had little trouble earning the four points from their game with the Nhill Rangers.
Despite some solid defence by the Nhill back line, they were not able to hold off the relentless Tigers attack which yielded five goals scored by five separate players.
Simon Farmers controlled the midfield and earned the accolade of best on the field for the Tigers and his team mates Bradley and Todd Alexander also received a mention.
Mont and Blake Miller and goalkeeper Murray Miller were the better players for the Rangers.
The Kaniva Women hosted a shorthanded Horsham Jets and took full advantage of this to record a three goals to one victory which all but confirms their place in the 2017 finals.
Jemima Bothe opened the scoring for Kaniva early in the game, but Carmel McFarlane of the Jets evened the scores late in the half, only to have Olivia Williams take back the lead for Kaniva just before the break.
Another goal to Kaniva’s Rachel Clark extended the lead, and solid defending by both teams prevented any further scores, resulting in a victory margin to Kaniva of two goals.
Sigourney and Olivia Williams were named as the best players for Kaniva along with Nyree Hutchins, and Sophie Robinson continued her good season for the Jets when she was named as her team’s best. Ashley Fogarty and Robyn Creek also played well.
The Warrack Women looked set to record a significant upset when they led the top placed Dimboola Roos for much of their game at Yanac.
It was just fifteen minutes into the game when Alana Morrow scored for Warrack and her team was able to preserve this lead until Vicki Smithyman evened the scores late in the second half.
Some desperate defence at both ends of the field stopped many scoring attempts and with a draw looking imminent, the Roos earned a short corner very late in the game. When this penalty was played out after the final whistle Cara Hadzig and Elizabeth Klinge combined to score and salvage full points.
Jennifer Klinge, Brooke McMaster and Rebekah Albrecht stood out for the Roos and Morrow, Kelly Krahe and full back Tiffany Bull were named as the best players for Warrack.
With the Nhill Thunderbirds relying on a number of junior play in their second game for the day and two borrowed players to make up a full side, the Yanac Women had little trouble winning their encounter by two goals.
Best on the ground Louise Bone scored one of Yanac’s goals and Ellen Wheaton scored the other whilst forwards Jill Kube and Shanaye Alexander played their positions well. For the Thunderbirds, Sami Crowhurst, Emily Koop and Ellie Murden were the stand out players.
With this win, and the loss by the Jets, the Yanac Women have now moved into a position where they can now challenge for second place on the ladder over the last four games and possibly earn the important second chance in the finals.
A hat-trick of goals by Lachie Klemm and one to Sandon Schultz made up the Warrack Revengers’ four goals in their game against the Dimboola Kangaroos.
Despite eight forays into their scoring zone, the Kangaroos were unable to breech their opponents’ defence and finished the game scoreless. This contrasted to the Revengers’ four goals from 14 forward moves.
Schultz and Klemm shared the best player honours with Maggie Butcher for the Revengers and Tom Krelle, Rebekah Albrecht and Ruby Simpson stood out for the Kangaroos.
The Yanac Warriors have been eliminated from the 2017 finals race after they went down to the Nhill Leopards by three goals, although the three goal margin does not fully convey the tenacious fight put up by the Warriors.
Although Nhill had control of the ball for most of the game, it took until just two minutes before the half time for the first goal which was scored off Ellie Murden’s stick.
Despite strong defence by Mikayla Farmers, Jasper Croot, Sophie Pipkorn and Hannah Honeyman of the Warriors, both Lance McBride and Sharma Delaney found the goals for the Leopards after the break to establish the three goal win.
Murden, Emily Koop and Jason Reichelt were named as the Leopards best players.
Although the eight goal margin in favour of the Kaniva Raiders suggests a very one sided game, this was not the case as the Bombers fought hard for the entire game.
Luke Shalders was the leading goal scorer, with three, and was also named as the best player for the Raiders along with Jimmy Mitchell and Sigourney Williams.
Tom Roberts, Kira Guest and Cade Dodson played well for the Bombers.
The Wimmera Hockey Association’s Under 12 competition, which is only in its second season, continues to be well supported and grow, giving younger players the opportunity to learn the skills and to enjoy the experience of being part of a team.
The Kaniva Rampagers and Dimboola Kookaburras both had close wins over the Horsham Blackhawks and Warracknabeal respectively and the Nhill Bandits and Yanac Lowan Stars played out a draw, scoring four goals each.
Round Twelve Preview
The next round is to be played at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre, commencing with two game on Friday evening and the remaining ten to be played on Saturday.
Both encounters on Friday could be danger games for the higher ranked teams.
The Horsham Jets lost last week and will now need to keep winning if they are to maintain their current place in the top two and earn the second chance in the finals. The Warrack Women’s most recent effort was to give the top placed Dimboola Roos a scare, but although they lost that game to a goal scored off a penalty corner played out after the last whistle, they proved that at their best they can match the top teams.
Despite this encounter being played on the Jet’s home ground, they will still need to take the Warrack Women seriously.
The third placed Hoops returned to some of their best form last week after a month that they would rather forget, and they will be looking to continue this when they encounter the dangerous fifth placed Horsham Hurricanes in the second game on Friday evening.
The Hurricanes have the incentive that they can still make the finals and they will be looking to exploit any weaknesses that remain in the Hoops’ line up if they are to move into fourth place.
The Dimboola Roos will have to find their best form if they are to again beat the team they defeated in the grand final last season, as the Yanac Women are returning to the form that took them to the last game in 2016.
The Roos struggled last Saturday, but were also missing a number of regular players, so this should be a tight game, depending upon which players are available for each team.
The Nhill Thunderbirds have one more chance to keep their dream of making the finals alive when they take on the Kaniva Women on Saturday evening. A loss in this game will put them 16 points behind Kaniva and with only three games remaining after this round they would not have the opportunity to bridge the gap.
Kaniva will also be keen for a good showing as a win will guarantee them for a rare finals appearance.
A close game should be played out between the Kaniva Cobras and Nhill Rangers, with the latter team more than capable of causing another upset, after defeating the Hoops two weeks ago, and a win would keep their slim chances of a finals appearance alive for another week.
The Cobras have shown some patchy form recently, with their best being good enough to match the Yanac Tigers, but they have also struggled in a number of games against lesser opponents, so they will not want to drop any points in this game.
The Dimboola Burras have the opportunity to assess where they are in the competition when they take on the Yanac Tigers who can claim yet another minor premiership with a win. The Burras have not yet confirmed a place in the finals, and even if they cannot become the first team to defeat the Tigers this season they will not want to suffer a big loss which would dent their confidence before their last three games.
In the each of the Under 16 games a top three team takes on an opponent from the bottom three, but none of the games can be considered a foregone conclusion.
Although the top placed Warrack Revengers take on the bottom placed Horsham Bombers, they will need to keep winning to stay ahead of the Leopards, and the Bombers have shown that they can push the top teams.
The clash between the Leopards and the Raiders will also be a close game. After a slow start to their season, the Raiders are finding the form that has seen them play off in the last five grand finals, and they would like nothing better than to defeat the Leopards who beat them in the season decider last year.
If the Dimboola Kangaroos are to remain a serious contender for the 2017 title, they will need to win all their games against the teams below them on the ladder, and their game against the Warriors could be a danger game.
The Warriors can no longer make the finals, but they have the ability to shape the final order and this is one game that they could win.
Round Twelve - Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July
- at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre
7.00 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v. Warrack Women
8.30 pm - Open - Horsham Hurricanes v. Warrack Hoops
9.30 am - Under 16 - Horsham Bombers v. Warrack Revengers
11.00 am - Under 16 - Nhill Leopards v. Kaniva Raiders
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Nhill Bandits v. Kaniva Rampagers
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Yanac Lowan Stars v. Dimboola Kookaburras
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Horsham Blackhawks v. Warracknabeal
1.30 pm - Under 16 - Dimboola Kangaroos v. Yanac Warriors
3.00 pm - Women - Dimboola Roos v. Yanac Women
4.30 pm - Women - Nhill Thunderbirds v. Kaniva Women
6.00 pm - Open - Nhill Rangers v. Kaniva Cobras
7.30 pm - Open - Dimboola Burras v. Yanac Tigers
Round Eleven Results
Yanac Tigers 5 (Goals - J Harding, L Reichenbach, M Dart, S Croot, B Alexander; Best - S Farmers, B Alexander, T Alexander) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - Mont Miller, Murray Miller, B Miller)
Kaniva Cobras 2 (Goals - D Shalders, L Clark; Best - L Clark, D Cole, D Shalders) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - S Robinson; Best - B Tischler, J Wilkosz, W Gulline)
Warrack Hoops 3 (Goals - E Schilling, B Schilling, C Bardell; Best - C Bardell, M Williamson, S Schultz) defeated Dimboola Burras 0 (Best - B Tischler, J Lovett, B Lovett)
| || Pts || GD |
| Yanac Tigers || 42 || 31 |
| Kaniva Cobras || 30 || 6 |
| Warrack Hoops || 28 || 18 |
| Dimboola Burras || 14 || -10 |
| Horsham Hurricanes || 10 || -17 |
| Nhill Rangers || 8 || -28 |
Yanac Women 2 (Goals - L Bone, E Wheaton; Best - L Bone, J Kube, S Alexander) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 0 (Best - S Crowhurst, B Koop, E Murden)
Dimboola Roos 2 (Goals - E Klinge, V Smithyman; Best - J Klinge, B McMaster, R Albrecht) defeated Warrack Women 1 (Goal - A Morrow; Best - A Morrow, K Krahe, T Bull)
Kaniva Women 3 (Goals - R Clark, O Williams, J Bothe; Best - S Williams, O Williams, N Hutchins) defeated Horsham Jets 1 (Goal - C McFarlane; Best - S Robinson, A Fogarty, R Creek)
| || Pts || GD |
| Dimboola Roos || 40 || 25 |
| Horsham Jets || 28 || 14 |
| Yanac Women || 24 || 1 |
| Kaniva Women || 22 || -3 |
| Nhill Thunderbirds || 10 || -18 |
| Warrack Women || 8 || -19 |
Nhill Leopards 3 (Goals - L McBride, S Delaney, E Murden; Best - E Murden, E Koop, J Reichelt) defeated Yanac Warriors 0 (Best - M Farmers, J Croot, S Pipkorn, H Honeyman)
Warrack Revengers 4 (Goals - L Klemm 3, S Schultz; Best - S Schultz, L Klemm, M Butcher) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0 (Best - T Krelle, R Albrecht, R Simpson)
Kaniva Raiders 8 (Goals - L Shalders 3, J Mitchell, J Dixon, T Mitchell, C White, D Clark; Best - L Shalders, J Mitchell, S Williams) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - T Roberts, K Guest, C Dodson)
| || Pts || GD |
| Warrack Revengers || 34 || 21 |
| Nhill Leopards || 32 || 31 |
| Dimboola Kangaroos || 28 || 12 |
| Kaniva Raiders || 26 || 6 |
| Yanac Warriors || 8 || -25 |
| Horsham Bombers || 4 || -45|
Kaniva Rampagers 2 (Goals - D Clark, C White; Best - D Clark) defeated Horsham Blackhawks 0 (Best - H Mackereth)
Dimboola Kookaburras 4 (Goals - L Krelle, R Simpson, M Hughes, C Bennett) defeated Warracknabeal 0
Yanac Lowan Stars 4 (Goals - Archie Zanker, C Zanker, C Dickinson, R Croot) drew with Nhill Bandits 4 (Goals - I Deckert 3, T McBride)
| || Pts || GD|
| Yanac Lowan Stars || 32 || 19|
| Dimboola Kookaburras || 26 || 15|
| Kaniva Rampagers || 26 || 11|
| Horsham Blackhawks || 22 || -9|
| Nhill Bandits || 18 || -13|
| Warracnabeal || 8 || -23|