Wimmera Hockey Association | Round Fourteen Review
|The penultimate round of the Wimmera Hockey Association’s winter season featured two draws in the Open competition, and solid wins by the leading teams in both the Women’s and Under 16 competitions.
With only one round remaining the combinations to play in the semi finals in two weeks’ time have already been decided in the Under 16 and Women’s competitions but the ultimate finishing order on the Open ladder will not be known until after all of the games have been played in the last round next weekend.
Once again the Warrack Hoops and the Yanac Tigers played out a classic encounter which on this occasion resulted in a drawn game.
The Tigers are yet to be defeated this season but the other three teams that will contest the finals in two weeks’ time have shown enough that the reigning premiers will have to play at their best if they are to extend their current premiership run to a record equalling three titles in succession with another title this year.
On Anzac Park on Saturday afternoon it was eight minutes into the game when Ethan Shilling got onto a shot drilled into the circle by Sandon Schultz and put the Hoops ahead.
Yanac goaled through Brad Alexander 13 minutes into the second half to even the scores, and the remaining twenty minutes of play was a struggle in the mid field with both defensive lines holding firm despite some determined attacking.
This draw has kept the Hoops in second place on the ladder, but they will need to draw or win again next week if they are to guarantee that place going into the finals.
The Dimboola Burras also proved that they will need to be taken seriously in the finals when they held out for a two all draw with the Kaniva Cobras.
The scoring was opened by Mat McDonald of the Cobras midway through the first half, but by half time Lachlan Schultz had scored twice to establish a lead for the Burras.
A tight second half yielded only one goal, to Clint Beattie of the Cobras, which left the game as a draw, but this was also enough for the Burras to confirm their place in the finals as they have established an unbeatable lead ahead of the fifth placed Horsham Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes briefly kept their slim finals chances alive with a confident win over the Nhill Rangers. Will Gulline, Tim Davey and Josh Schwarz all found the goals to create a three goal lead in the first half and whilst both teams created many forward opportunities after the break, neither was able to add to the scoring.
Above - Stuart Hoffman of the Horsham Hurricanes gets the ball away despite pressure from David Reichelt of the Nhill Rangers. - Photo by Simon King.
Had the Burras lost their game, which was played later in the day, this result would have kept the Hurricanes in the race of the finals, but they now will only be playing for pride in the last round next week.
The closest game for the round in the Women’s competition was fought out by the Warrack Women, who were playing for the opportunity to rise from the bottom of the ladder, and the Yanac Women who are trying to find some more consistent form before the finals.
Both teams earned short corners and created opportunities to score early in the game, but the scorecard remained blank at the half time break.
Kelly Krahe opened the scoring with a confident goal for the Warrack Women early in the second half when she received a perfect pass from a team mate.
After this the Yanac forwards stepped up their game but were consistently denied by the determined Warrack defence until Sheree Shurdington was able to even the scores with four minutes of play remaining.
Although with this result Warrack remain in sixth place, a good showing next weekend could still see them move up to fifth place at the end of the season.
The Nhill Thunderbirds took to the field in their game against the Horsham Jets with four borrowed players to make up a full complement on the field but were without any options off the interchange bench, but they were able to put up a strong fight against the Horsham Jets.
The difference in a very event first half was a solitary goal scored by Mia Guest of the Jets, but goals to Robyn Creek and Ashlyn Allen, and another to Guest created a four goal winning margin for the Jets.
In the lead up to their first finals series since 2006, the Kaniva Women were not able to defeat the Dimboola Roos, but they did put in another very solid performance which suggests that they will be very competitive in the finals.
Elizabeth Klinge scored once in the first half and Kelly Smithyman once in the second to establish the two goal winning margin for the Roos, but the Kaniva defensive combination led by Rachel Clark repelled many more than the Roos scored.
The evenness of the Under 16 competition was on full display on Saturday with the Kaniva Raiders putting on a disciplined display against the higher ranked Dimboola Kangaroos.
Daniel Danisch and Teo Haines constructed good play through the midfield for the Kangaroos, with Haines scoring twice to match the two goals scored by the Raiders by half time.
Kaniva stepped up their play after half time with Luke Shalders dominating the midfield and along with some strong defence by Jimmy Mitchell combined to increase the lead to four goals by the end of the game.
The Warrack Revengers dominated their game against the Yanac Warriors with more than 25 incursions into their attacking circle, but very determined defence was able to prevent all but two of them finding the goals. In contrast at the other end of the field the Warriors were only able to play into their circle five times without any converted to goals.
It was Oskar Bennett who scored twice for the Revengers and it was regular defenders Mikayla Farmers and Sophie Pipkorn who led the opposition.
Three goals by Ellie Murden and two to Blake Miller highlighted the Nhill Leopard’s eight goal victory over the Horsham Bombers. Centre half back Cade Dodson played well for the Bombers whilst full back Sharma Delaney was a strong performer for the Leopards.
Three very close games were played out in the Under 12 competition with the Nhill Bandits defeating the Horsham Blackhawks by four goals to three, the Kaniva Rampagers defeated the Dimboola Kookaburras by two goals to one, and in the biggest margin of the day, the Yanac Lowan Stars defeated Warracknabeal by five goals.
Round Fifteen Preview
With one round remining before the finals, the teams that will make up the top four in the Open, Women and Under 16 competitions have been decided, but there are still some significant games to be played out on the turf at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre on Friday evening and Saturday that will shape what happens through the finals series.
Second place on the Open ladder is still to be decided and along with it goes the important second chance in the finals.
The Warrack Hoops currently hold this position by two points and a draw or a win will be enough for them to remain there, although if they slip up against the Dimboola Burras at 6 pm on Saturday evening, the Kaniva Cobras will be poised to overtake them if they are able to defeat the Horsham Hurricanes in the following game.
Ladder positions suggest that both the Hoops and Cobras should go into the finals on a winning note, but recent form suggests that both of their opponents are capable of causing an upset if they bring their A game.
The other game in the Open competition will see the Yanac Tigers prepare for their attempt at a third premiership in succession when they take on the Nhill Rangers on Friday evening.
Regardless of results this weekend, there cannot be any significant changes in the top four, with the Dimboola Roos and Horsham Jets already confirmed as the combatants in the second semi final, and the Kaniva and Yanac Women’s teams set to meet in the first semi final.
Interest will only be on which teams can go into the finals with the winning form.
The only game between teams in the top four will see the Horsham Jets take on the Kaniva Women with both teams looking to boost their confidence before the finals.
The first game on Friday evening will see the Yanac Women take on the Nhill Thunderbirds who need a draw or win ensure that they cannot drop to sixth place, whilst the Yanac Women have displayed patchy form this season and need to find some consistency if they are to play to their best standard next week.
The Warrack Women have shown some significant improvement over the closing rounds of the 2017 season, and although they face the daunting task of taking on the competition leading Dimboola Roos, they have nothing to lose as a win could see them avoid the wooden spoon, so a tough game is expected.
As with the Women’s competition, the line-up for the semi-finals has already been set in the Under 16 division and will not change irrespective of results on the weekend.
The Nhill Leopards will do all they can to snatch top spot on the ladder when they take on the Yanac Warriors but not only do they need to win themselves, but they must also rely on the Dimboola Kangaroos defeating the Warrack Revengers if they are to use their superior goal difference to overtake the Warrack team.
The Kaniva Raiders have displayed improving form over recent rounds after a slow start to the season, and should go into the finals with a strong performance over the Horsham Bombers.
The under 12 competition concludes this weekend with a full round of matches which will see the Yanac Lowan Stars play the Nhill Bandits, Warracknabeal take on the Dimboola Kookaburras and the Horsham Blackhawks meet the Kaniva Rampagers.
This has been the second season of an organised competition for this age group and it has proven to be an overwhelming success with many younger players given the opportunity to play against opponents of the same age group, rather than having to play in the Under 16 division and it has provided a pathway for those unfamiliar with the game to learn the skills in a fun environment.
A number of the older Under 12 players have also gained enough confidence to step up and compete in the Under 16 competition.
Round Fifteen - Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre
Friday Evening - 18 August
7.00 pm - Women - Yanac Women v. Nhill Thunderbirds
8.30 pm - Open - Yanac Tigers v. Nhill Rangers
Saturday - 19 - August
9.30 am - Under 16 - Warrack Revengers v. Dimboola Kangaroos
11.00 am - Under 16 - Yanac Warriors v. Nhill Leopards
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Yanac Lowan Stars v. Nhill Bandits
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Warracknabeal v. Dimboola Kookaburras
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Horsham Blackhawks v. Kaniva Rampagers
1.30 pm - Under 16 - Horsham Bombers v. Kaniva Raiders
3.00 pm - Women - Warrack Women v. Dimboola Roos
4.30 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v. Kaniva Women
6.00 pm - Open - Warrack Hoops v. Dimboola Burras
7.30 pm - Open - Horsham Hurricanes v. Kaniva Cobras
Round 14 Results
Horsham Hurricanes 3 (Goals - J Schwarz, W Gulline, T Davey; Best - W Gulline, S Hoffman, J Bannan) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - A Rintoule, B Miller, L Schultz)
Dimboola Burras 2 (Goals - L Schultz 2; Best - T Dent, E Woods, B Lovett) drew with Kaniva Cobras 2 (Goals - C Beattie, M McDonald; Best - D Shalders, L Clark, J Bedford)
Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - E Schilling; Best - E Schilling, S Schultz, T Krahe) drew with Yanac Tigers 1 (Goal - B Alexander; Best - T Alexander, S Farmers, B Alexander)
| || Pts || GD |
| Yanac Tigers || 50 || 37 |
| Warrack Hoops || 38 || 23 |
| Kaniva Cobras || 36 || 8 |
| Dimboola Burras || 20 || -10 |
| Horsham Hurricanes || 14 || -24 |
| Nhill Rangers || 10 || -34 |
Dimboola Roos 2 (Goals - E Klinge, K Smithyman; Best - E Klinge, E Woods, R Lovett) defeated Kaniva Women 0 (Best - R Clark, K Clark, J Mitchell)
Warrack Women 1 (Goal - K Krahe; Best - K Krahe, D Robinson, M Watts, A Morrow) drew with Yanac Women 1 (Goals; S Shurdington; Best - M Farmers, C Beattie, S Shurdington)
Horsham Jets 4 (Goals - M Guest 2, R Creek, A Allen; Best - S Robinson, E Burgess, C McFarlane) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 0 (Best - E Koop, A Rintoule, M Farmers, H Honeyman)
| || Pts || GD |
| Dimboola Roos || 52 || 37 |
| Horsham Jets || 40 || 25 |
| Kaniva Women || 28 || -4 |
| Yanac Women || 26 || -8 |
| Nhill Thunderbirds || 12 || -27 |
| Warrack Women || 10 || -23|
Nhill Leopards 8 (Goals - E Murden 3, B Miller 2, E Koop, M Delaney, J Reichelt; Best - S Delaney, B Miller, E Murden, J Reichelt) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - C Dodson, T Roberts, J Schwarz, K Guest)
Kaniva Raiders 6 (Goals - L Shalders 3, T Mitchell 2, I Williams; Best - L Shalders, J Mitchell, O Williams) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 2 (Goals - T Haines 2; Best - R Albrecht, D Danisch, T Krelle)
Warrack Revengers 2 (Goals - O Bennett; Best - S Schultz, J Smith, L Eilola) defeated Yanac Warriors 0 (Best - M Farmers, S Pipkorn, J Croot)
| || Pts || GD |
| Warrack Revengers || 44 || 24 |
| Nhill Leopards || 40 || 38 |
| Kaniva Raiders || 34 || 11 |
| Dimboola Kangaroos || 32 || 15 |
| Yanac Warriors || 12 || -34 |
| Horsham Bombers || 6 || -54|
Nhill Bandits 4 (Goals -T McBride 2, I Deckert) defeated Horsham Blackhawks 3 (Goals - L Simmons 3; Best - L Noske)
Kaniva Rampagers 2 (Goals - K Clark, C White; Best - B Williams) defeated Dimboola Kookaburras 1 (Goal - E Simpson; Best - T Batchelor)
Yanac Lowan Stars 5 (Goals - Caleb Zanker 2, C Dickinson, Chloe Zanker, G Pedie) defeated Warracknabeal 0 (Best - C Knoop)
| || Pts || GD |
| Yanac Lowan Stars || 38 || 23 |
| Kaniva Rampagers || 38 || 19 |
| Dimboola Kookaburras || 32 || 16 |
| Horsham Blackhawks || 28 || -9 |
| Nhill Bandits || 22 || -15 |
| Warracknabeal || 10 || -34 |