|The Nhill Rangers continue to impress as their undefeated start to 2019 in the Wimmera Hockey Association’s Open division extended into round three, when they played out a scoreless draw with last year’s grand finalists, the Warrack Hoops.
Other results of note to come out of the weekend’s action included Horsham earning their first points for the season in the Open competition and Yanac winning the re-match of the 2018 grand final against the Dimboola Roos in the Women’s division.
The Nhill Open division team is reaping the rewards for their perseverance over the last few seasons when they struggled from week to week to even field a team, as they have now recorded one win and two drawn games in the first three rounds. This has put them in the unfamiliar position of outright second place on the ladder and preparing for a top of the ladder clash with the Yanac Tigers in the next round.
On Saturday they welcomed the Warrack Hoops to their home ground and between them played out an intense scoreless draw, and although the Hoops controlled slightly more of the play, solid defence by the Rangers kept them in the game and earned themselves another two points.
The leading players for Nhill included Mont Miller and Sam Bone and for the Hoops it was Cameron Bardell at fullback and Kevin Mills on the forward line.
Another match up that always provides entertaining hockey saw the Yanac Tigers maintain their undefeated run when they overcame a spirited Dimboola Burras.
Goals to best-on-ground Nathan Alexander and his brother Shaun Alexander made up the Tigers’ two goal score line, whilst Tim Jorgensen provided his usual pace on the forward line and Daniel Danish impressed in defence for the Burras.
Above - Dimboola Burras’ Zack Slater-Collard runs away with the ball ahead of Tiger opponents Kim Croot and Simon Farmers.
The third Open division game resulted in the Horsham Hurricanes’ first win for the season, when they scored three goals to defeat the Kaniva Cobras who could only find the net once.
Regular top performer Paul Mackereth was amongst the Hurricanes’ leading players as well as scoring one of their goals, with Will Gulline and Tom Roberts scoring the other two. Simon Trigg continued his good early season form when he was named amongst Horsham’s best player for the third week in a row.
Lachie Mills, Dave Cole and Adam Wallis were the most consistent performers for the Cobras.
The game that attracted the most interest in round three of the Women’s competition was the first meeting of the 2018 grand finalists since last season, with the Yanac Women once again finishing ahead.
The ball spent much of the game in Yanac’s half of the field and despite some solid defence by the Dimboola Roos it was only a matter of time before the reigning premiers found the goals.
The end result was a three goal win to Yanac, which leaves them undefeated on top of the ladder, yet to concede a goal this season, but despite this result the Roos remain in equal second place.
The goals were scored by Shanaye Alexander, Hannah Honeyman and Natalie Harding for Yanac, and it was no surprise that the leading players for Dimboola, including Brooke McMaster, Naomi Kuhnell and Cara Hadzig, all played in defence.
The Nhill Thunderbirds are keeping the pressure on the top two teams with a three goal win over the Warrack Women. Ellie Murden contributed two goals, and was named as the best player for the ‘Birds and regular top performers for Warrack, Kelly Krahe and Donna Rigby, were named the best for their team.
The Kaniva Women currently fill the last place in the top four, after they outlasted the Horsham Jets to win by three goals to one. Lisa Stimson scored twice and Holly Beattie once to make up Kaniva’s three goals, and Launa Schilling was the sole Jets player to get the ball past the goalkeeper.
The Yanac Warriors are yet to concede a goal after three games this season and have scored more goals than all the other teams in this division combined.
This week it was the Dimboola Kangaroos that challenged the might of the Warriors and did well by keeping them below a double figure score.
Caleb Zanker, Mikayla Farmers, Japser Croot and Chloe Zanker all scored two goals and Archie Zanker one in the Warriors’ total of nine, and Thomas Krelle, Matthew Reichelt and Tanisha Bamford all played well for the Kangaroos.
The Nhill Leopards broke through for their first win for the season, with a home ground victory over the Warrack Revengers with a six goals to one victory.
Isaac Deckert, Cory Koop and Troye McBride all scored two goals each and Lance McBride scored once, whilst Ben Williamson was the lone scorer for the Revengers.
The Kaniva Raiders had to play hard to register a three goals to two victory over the Horsham Bombers which sees them remain undefeated.
Max Goodwin has continued his good early season form with two goals and the votes as the Raiders’ leading player in this game and Lars Simmons and Serena Foot are providing a strong focus on the field for the Bombers.
The Raiders are shaping as the most serious challenger to the dominance of the Warriors, with their upcoming clash in round five already looming as the match of the round.
Under 12 Development Program
The success of this program continues with many teams sharing extra players with those that are short giving players as much game time as possible.
This week the Nhill Bandits scored five goals to defeat the Warrack Avengers who scored once, the Horsham Black Hawks defeated the Kaniva Rampagers by three goals to one and the Yanac Lowan Stars, mirroring the success of their club’s more senior teams, scored a seven goals to one win over the Dimboola Kookaburras.
All grades in the Wimmera competition have a bye next weekend as the cream of the local underage players travel to Melbourne to participate in the Victorian Junior Country Championships.
Local competition will resume the following weekend when the games of round four will be shared between the Kaniva and Yanac venues.
Kaniva will host Warracknabeal in all four divisions, whilst the Dimboola, Horsham, Nhill and Yanac teams will play the remaining games at Yanac.
Round Three Results
Yanac Tigers 2 (Goals - N Alexander, S Alexander; Best - N Alexander, J Cramer, T Alexander) defeated Dimboola Burras 0 (Best - T Jorgensen, D Danish, B Tischler)
Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - M Miller, S Bone, B Miller) drew with Warrack Hoops 0 (Best - C Bardell, K Mills, S Schultz)
Horsham Hurricanes 3 (Goals - P Mackereth, W Gulline, T Roberts; Best - S Trigg, P Mackereth, D Pumpa) defeated Kaniva Cobras 1 (Goal - J Hendy; Best - L Mills, D Cole, A Wallis)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Nhill Thunderbirds 3 (Goals - E Murden 2, S Allen; Best - E Murden, E Farquharson, C Kessler) defeated Warrack Women 0 (Best - K Krahe, D Rigby)
Kaniva Women 3 (Goals - L Stimson 2, H Beattie; Best - O Williams, N Hutchins, J Wallis) defeated Horsham Jets 1 (Goal - L Schilling; Best - L Schilling, R Creek, M Middleton)
Yanac Women 3 (Goals - S Alexander, H Honeyman, N Harding; Best - E Alexander, S Hedt, C Beattie) defeated Dimboola Roos 0 (Best - B McMaster, N Kuhnell, C Hadzig)
| ||Pts|| GD|| %|
|Dimboola Roos||8||3|| 200%|
Yanac Warriors 9 (Goals - Caleb Zanker 2, M Farmers 2, J Croot 2, Chloe Zanker 2, Archie Zanker; Best - M Farmers, Caleb Zanker, A Farmers) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0 (Best - T Krelle, M Reichelt, T Bamford)
Nhill Leopards 6 (Goals - I Deckert 2, C Koop 2, T McBride 2, L McBride; Best - L McBride, I Deckert, K Clark, T McBride) defeated Warrack Revengers 1 (Goal - Ben Williamson; Best - B Williamson, T Engelbrecht, A Mills, N Eilola)
Kaniva Raiders 3 (Goals - M Goodwin 2, I Williams; Best - M Goodwin, I Williams, E Dixon) defeated Horsham Bombers 2 (Goals - J Crookford, A Koch; Best - L Simmons, S Foot, T Batchelor)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Nhill Bandits 5 (Goals - V Maloney 4, G Pohlner; Encouragement - T Moloney) defeated Warrack Avengers 1 (Goal - Not Recorded; Encouragement - H Zwar)
Horsham Black Hawks 3 (Goals - A Trigg 2, J Schwarz) defeated Kaniva Rampagers 1 (Goal - X Stimson)
Yanac Lowan Stars 7 (Goals - Asher Zanker 3, S Pedie 3, L Cramer; encouragement - A Trenery) defeated Dimboola Kookaburras 1 (Goal - Thar Shue)