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Wimmera Hockey Association | Preliminary Finals Preview

Article Category  Dimboola Courier > Sport
Date Published  Friday, September 1 2017
Author  Wimmera Hockey Association

Wimmera Hockey Association | Preliminary Finals Preview
The minor premiers in each of the Open, Women’s and Under 16 divisions all won direct passage into their respective season deciders last weekend, and this week the second and third ranked teams in each will battle it out to earn the right to be their opponents.

All three games will be played on Saturday on the artificial turf at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre, commencing with the Under 16s game at 11.00 am, and all promise to be close contests.

Under 16 - Nhill Leopards v. Kaniva Raiders

Both teams can go into this game with confidence, as the Nhill Leopards are the defending champions in this division and spent eight weeks on the top of the ladder during the season, and although the Raiders had an erratic start they have found more consistency in recent weeks.

The Leopards will rely heavily on Blake Miller, Emily Koop, Ellie Murden and Sharma Delaney, whilst for the Raiders Luke Shalders’ skills are well suited to the synthetic surface at Dimboola, and Tyson Mitchell has been putting in some consistent games recently as has Olivia Williams.

In a tight fast game, the difference might be the Raiders’ greater options off the interchange as they regularly play a full bench but the Leopards may not have that luxury.

    Head to head so far this season -

    Round 4 - Nhill Leopards 4 defeated Kaniva Raiders 2
    Round 9 - Kaniva Raiders 3 defeated Nhill Leopards 2
    Round 13 - Nhill Leopards 1 defeated Kaniva Raiders 0

    Last week -

    First Semi Final - Kaniva Raiders 2 defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0
    Second Semi Final - Nhill Leopards 1 lost to Warrack Revengers 3

Women - Horsham Jets v. Yanac Women

The Dimboola Roos have been the standout team in the Women’s division this season, and they are already in the grand final, and both the Horsham Jets and Yanac Women have had unpredictable seasons so far so this game could go either way.

Yanac has played in the last four grand finals, winning two, and the Horsham team has won three of the seven they have contested in the last ten years, so there is plenty of finals experience on both sides.

Sophie Robinson, Launa Schilling and Robyn Creek will all be key players for the Jets, and Louise Bone, Mikayla Farmers and Susan Hedt will be the ones to watch for Yanac.

It is difficult to pick a winner in this game, but the Jets have the better overall record this season which suggests they may be able to finish this game ahead.

    Head to head so far this season -

    Round 4 - Yanac Women 1 defeated Horsham Jets 0
    Round 9 - Horsham Jets 3 defeated Yanac Women 2
    Round 13 - Horsham Jets 4 defeated Yanac Women 0

    Last week -

    First Semi Final - Yanac Women 3 defeated Kaniva Women 0
    Second Semi Final - Horsham Jets 2 lost to Dimboola Roos 4

Open - Kaniva Cobras v. Warrack Hoops

These two teams swapped second place on the ladder a couple of times over the closing rounds of the regular season, but it was the Cobras who finishing ahead at the end of round 15.

There was no shame in the Cobras’ loss to the Tigers in the second semi final last week, as the Yanac team remains undefeated so far this season, but they will have to regroup quickly if they are to earn another crack at the reigning premiers.

The Hoops only spent four games outside the top two this season, but the Cobras were close on their heels and made the most of their opportunities.

Despite playing in the last five grand finals, the Hoops are missing a number of key contributors from these recent seasons, and it is now up to the new crop of young players, and a couple of veterans, to step up if they are to add to this tally in 2017.

The Cobras do not have a good record in finals and they will be determined to start to turn this around on Saturday.

Both teams have key players all over the ground and boast considerable depth, so if they both play to their full potential this game promises to be an exciting match up.

Lachlan Clark, David Cole and the Shalders brothers, Duncan and Luke, will be amongst the Cobra players who will need to be watched and for the Hoops it will be Cameron Bardell, Royce Bennett and Ethan Schilling, but it will be no surprise if the match winning players do not come from this list.

Above - Royce Bennett (left) and Lachlan Clark could be two pivotal players in the Open preliminary final tomorrow.

This will be a very close game, and it will be the team that maintains their composure for the whole game that will earn the last chance for this season to stop the Yanac Tigers.

    Head to head so far this season -

    Round 4 - Warrack Hoops 2 defeated Kaniva Cobras 0
    Round 9 - Kaniva Cobras 1 defeated Warrack Hoops 0
    Round 13 - Warrack Hoops 2 defeated Kaniva Cobras 1

    Last week -

    First Semi Final - Warrack Hoops 3 defeated Dimboola Burras 2
    Second Semi Final - Kaniva Cobras 0 lost to Yanac Tigers 3

Preliminary Finals - Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre - Saturday 2 September 2017

11.00 am - Under 16 - Nhill Leopards v. Kaniva Raiders
1.00 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v. Yanac Women
3.00 pm - Open - Kaniva Cobras v. Warrack Hoops



From the Dimboola Rowing Club - thanks to all supporters of the 130th Annual Dimboola Regatta and 8th Annual Head of the River.

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2018 Australia Day Awards
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The Australia Day Awards recognise outstanding community service to the Hindmarsh Shire community during the current year and/or given outstanding service to the community over a number of years.

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