|As the end of the season approaches, time is running out for a number of teams to stake their claim for the finals, which set up to a number of hard fought games in the Wimmera Hockey Association on the weekend.
Big wins for the leading Women’s teams and a couple of close games in the Open headlined round ten at Warracknabeal on Saturday.
The Yanac Tigers kept their unbeaten 2019 record intact, but only after pulling off another late game save when Jamie Harding converted a penalty stroke with just five minutes of the game remaining to defeat the Nhill Rangers by one goal.
Yanac controlled much of the game, but spirited defence by goalkeeper Murray Miller and fullback Mont Miller kept the Rangers in the game until the penalty late in the game.
Despite this result the Rangers remain in fourth place but will have to play their best hockey in the last five games if they are to fend off challenger from Kaniva and Horsham of a place in the finals, and the Tigers are now assured of a top two finish.
The Dimboola Burras scrapped out a one gaol victory over the Horsham Hurricanes to remain in the race for a top two finish.
In a very even first half it was Will Gulline who opened the scoring with a goal 14 minutes before half time to put the Hurricanes ahead, but Noah Krelle equalled the scores five minutes later and the teams went into the break at one goal each.
Lachlan Schultz scored for the Burras early in the next half, and although both teams created scoring opportunities, neither added to the scores for the remainder of the game, leaving the result as a win for the Burras.
Caleb Baldock and Daniel Danisch controlled the mid-field for the Burras and Stuart Hoffman and Jordan Kube were named as the Hurricanes’ best.
Although their final four prospects are slipping away, the Hurricanes remain in the hunt for the finals with five games remaining, and the Burras are only two points outside the top two.
In the biggest margin of the day in the Open competition, the Warrack Hoops held of a tenacious Kaniva Cobras to record a three goal win, but they had to work hard to earn this result.
Goals Paul Slater and Oskar Bennett in the first half set up the win, which was topped off by a running field goal by Kevin Mills late in the second half. Cameron Bardell was the Hoops’ best player, and Dave Cole, Clint Beattie and Adam Wallis were the stand-out players for the Cobras.
The closest game for the round in this competition was between Warracknabeal and Kaniva.
Kaniva set up victory with two goals in the first half, scored by Olivia Williams and Jules Braisby, and in the second half they needed all of this advantage as Warrack put in one of their best games for the season, regularly mounting attacking moves, but were unable to convert any of this into goals.
Williams was named as Kaniva’s best player, and Kelly Krahe, and sisters Tiffany and Jasmine Bull were the best for Warrack.
This win moved Kaniva back into fourth place on the ladder, and Warrack remain in sixth.
The Dimboola Roos will take their best form into their top-of-the-table with Yanac next week after they scored a comfortable ten goal win over the Horsham Jets.
For the victors Jennifer Klinge scored four goals, and Elizabeth Klinge and Kelly Smithyman both scored two each and for the vanquished, Sue Puls, Serena Foot and Carmel Lawson were named as the better players.
The fifth-placed Jets have now fallen four points behind Kaniva in fourth and will have to win a game or two against higher ranked opponents if they are to challenge for a final’s berth and Dimboola are one win away from ensuring another appearance in the finals.
In a game that was more even that the five-nil score line suggests, Yanac maintained their grip on top place on the ladder with a hard fought five goal win over the Nhill Thunderbirds.
Yanac had established this lead by the seven minute mark of the second half, from when the game was very even with the Thunderbirds matching their higher ranked opponent on the field, although not on the scoreboard.
Natalie Harding and Carmel Beattie both scored two goals each, and Brandy-lea Cuming and Chyna Kessler were the best players for Nhill.
Yanac’s place in the finals is now assured, a win against Dimboola next week will go a long way to ensuring they finish on top, and Nhill remain in third place.
The result of most interest in this division was the win by the Warrack Revengers over the Kaniva Raiders, bringing them even on points with Kaniva now only holding second place on the ladder by goal difference.
Two goals to Faith Eilola and one to Heath Johns proved the difference, with Kaniva not able to score despite a number of threatening forward thrusts that were repelled by the Revengers’ defence.
Regular top performer Max Goodwin was named best for Kaniva ahead of Skye Dowler and Ben Williamson and Heath Johns were the best for the Revengers.
A significant milestone was achieved by the struggling Dimboola Kangaroos’ team on Saturday when Matt Reichelt scored the team’s first goal for the season when he scored to his team the lead in a game for the first time in 2019 with six minutes remaining in the first half of their game against the Horsham Bombers.
Tom Batchelor evened the scores just before half time, but a further goal to John Crockford put the Horsham team ahead mid-way through the second half which the Kangaroos were unable to match.
Midfielders Batchelor and Lars Simmons were best for the Bombers and Tom Krelle and Will Abbott played well for the Kangaroos.
A six goal win by the Yanac Warriors has then still undefeated, and leave the Nhill Leopards with some work to do if they are to remain in fourth place on the ladder.
Charles Hassall and Mikayla Farmers were the multiple goal scorers for Yanac, and goalkeeper Kayden Rowe and midfielder Lance McBride were the best players for Nhill.
Under 12 Development Program
Wins to the Horsham Black Hawks and Nhill Bandits and a draw between the Warrack Avengers Kaniva Rampagers highlighted round ten of the Under 12 Development Program.
Round Eleven Preview
With five rounds remaining before the finals, teams will now meet each opponent once more, and a number of teams have their chances of playing finals hinging on results in round eleven which is to be played on the turf at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre this Friday and Saturday.
The game on Friday evening in the Open division is a must win encounter for both the Horsham Hurricanes and Kaniva Cobras as these teams both currently sit outside the top four, with Horsham needing the points to remain in the hunt for fourth place, and a Kaniva win could see them hold that place after the round.
Recent form suggests that both of these teams have been playing well but just not been able to make in impact on the scoreboard, and with so much on the line this should be a cracking game to open the round.
The Nhill Rangers gave the undefeated Yanac Tigers a scare last weekend before going down by a single goal scored in the last five minutes of the game, so if they can take that sort of form into their game against the Warrack Hoops they are capable of causing an upset. The Hoops need to keep winning if they are to fend of the challenge for second place on the ladder from the in-form Dimboola Burras, so this too will be a top game of hockey.
The two teams showing the best recent form are the Yanac Tigers and Dimboola Burras and they will clash under the lights on Saturday evening in what will be a great match on the Burras’ home turf.
The Tigers are undefeated but have endured a couple of very close games recently, and Dimboola Burras can play some top hockey when they assemble their best combination and they have the added incentive of remaining in the race for a top two finish if they keep winning.
The key game in the Women’s competition in round eleven will be played on Friday evening with the fourth placed Kaniva playing the fifth placed Horsham. Although a win for the latter team would draw them equal on points with Kaniva, it would take a big win for them to overcome a deficit in goal difference to be able to move up a place, but even a narrow win will keep them in the race for another week.
Victory for Kaniva will give them some breathing space in fourth spot as it would move them eight points, or two wins, ahead of the Jets.
The game that promises to be the best exhibition of hockey will see the top two teams play off in sure to be a preview of a semi final, if not also the grand final. The psychological advantage earned by the winning team could prove very valuable later in the season.
Warrack will attempt to improve on their promising form from last week and when they take on the Nhill Thunderbirds who also need another couple more wins to confirm a place in the finals.
The most interest in the Under 16s will be in the games between the Nhill Leopards and Warrack Revengers, and the Horsham Bomber and Kaniva Raiders, with these teams currently occupying places two to five on the ladder and all need wins if they are to ensure a place in the finals.
The game between the top and bottom teams will see Yanac Warriors and Dimboola Kangaroos meet, and although ladder positions suggest that this could be a very one sided game, the Kangaroos on their home ground should not be underestimated and could give the leaders a scare.
Round Eleven Fixture
- at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre
Friday 26 July
7:00 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v Kaniva Women
8:30 pm - Open - Horsham Hurricanes V Kaniva Cobras
Saturday 27 July
9:30 am - Under 16 - Nhill Leopards v Warracknabeal Revengers
11:00 am - Under 16 - Horsham Bombers v Kaniva Raiders
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Dimboola Kookaburras v Yanac Lowan Stars
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Horsham Black Hawks v Kaniva Rampagers
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Nhill Bandits v Warracknabeal Avengers
1:30 pm - Under 16 - Dimboola Kangaroos v Yanac Warriors
3:00 pm - Women - Nhill Thunderbirds v Warracknabeal Women
4:30 pm - Women - Dimboola Roos v Yanac Women
6:00 pm - Open - Nhill Rangers v Warracknabeal Hoops
7:30 pm - Open - Dimboola Burras v Yanac Tigers
Round 10 Results
Dimboola Burras 2 (Goals - L Schultz, N Krelle; Best - C Baldock, D Danisch, T Dent) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - W Gulline; Best - S Hoffman, J Kube, C Dodson)
Yanac Tigers 1 (Goal - J Harding; Best - N Alexander, S Farmers, T Alexander) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - Mont Miller, Murray Miller, B Milller)
Warrack Hoops 3 (Goals - K Mills, P Slater, O Bennett; Best - C Bardell, O Bennett, P Slater) defeated Kaniva Cobras 0 (Best - D Cole, C Beattie, A Wallis)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Dimboola Roos 10 (Goals - J Klinge 4, E Klinge2, K Smithyman 2, C Finley, A King; Best - J Klinge, E Klinge, B McMaster) defeated Horsham Jets 0 (Best - S Puls, S Foot, C Lawson)
Yanac Women 5 (Goals - N Harding 2, C Beattie 2, S Shurdington; Best - E Alexander, N Harding, C Beattie) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 0 (Best - B Cuming, C Kessler, E Murden)
Kaniva 2 (Goals - O Williams, J Braisby; Best - O Williams, C Shurdington, T Braisby) defeated Warracknabeal 0 (Best - K Krahe, T Bull, J Bull)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Horsham Bombers 2 (Goals - J Crockford, T Batchelor; Best - T Batchelor, L Simmons, S Foot) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 1 (Goal - M Reichelt; Best - T Krelle, W Abbott, M Reichelt)
Yanac Warriors 6 (Goals - M Farmers 2, C Hassall 2, J Croot, Caleb Zanker; Best - J Croot, M Farmers, N Colbert, C Hassall) defeated Nhill Leopards 0 (Best - K Rowe, L McBride, K Clark)
Warrack Revengers 3 (F Eilola 2, H Johns; Best - B Williamson, H Johns, T Engelbrecht, F Eilola) defeated Kaniva Raiders 1 (Goal - M Goodwin; Best - M Goodwin, S Dowler, S Braisby, N White)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Under 12 Development Program
Horsham Black Hawks 4 (Goals - H Toet 2, K Field, J Schwarz) defeated Dimboola Kookaburras 0
Nhill Bandits 4 (Goals - T McBride 2, V Maloney, T Maloney; Encouragement Award - V Maloney) defeated Yanac Lowan Stars 0 (Encouragement Award - S Farmers)
Warrack Avengers 2 (Goals - E Williamson, N Eilola) drew with Kaniva Rampagers 2 (Goals - C White 2)