|The fourth round of games in the Wimmera Hockey Association’s winter season was the first to be played on the artificial turf at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre this season, and several classic games were witnessed.
The pick of the matches for the day was the encounter between the Kaniva Cobras and the Horsham Hurricanes. Both teams came into the game looking for their first win for 2021, and it took until the last minute of the game to confirm who would take the points.
In a very even game, Jonathon Horsfall of the Hurricanes opened the scoring twenty minutes into the game, establishing a lead that they took into the half time break despite the Cobras having a majority of the forward play.
Max Goodwin evened the scores eight minutes after play resumed in the second half.
With fewer options off the interchange bench than their opponents, Horsham was more deliberate with their play, making the ball do the work rather than their players doing a lot of running, in contrast to the Cobras strong hitting that continually returned the ball to their forward line.
With the game looking to be heading for a tie, a rebound from the Hurricanes’ goalkeepers’ pads in the last minute of the match was collected by Clint Beattie at the top of the scoring zone, and a considered, but strong shot at the goals broke the deadlock, and with little time remaining the Hurricanes were unable to reply.
After putting on an entertaining display of hockey, even the defeated players can be proud of their efforts, and it is only a matter of time before the Hurricanes join the winners’ list.
Beattie played a solid game in the mid-field for the Cobras and enjoyed support from Lachie Mills and Goodwin, whilst goalkeeper Colin Williams kept the Hurricanes in the game by repelling many more shots at goal than got past him and Traiyth Leffler also put in a good performance on the half backline.
In a replay of the 2019 grand final, the Yanac Tigers enjoyed one of their most significant victories in recent seasons over arch-rivals, the Warrack Hoops, with a five goals to one scoreline.
After a very even first half in which neither team scored, Oskar Bennett of the Hoops converted one of his team’s only two penalty corners for the game to open the scoring. Ethan Anderson equalled the scores five minutes later, and a hit from Nathan Colbert that Bradley Alexander collected resulted in the third goal for the match and gave the Tigers the lead for the first time.
They built on this with a goal by Charles Hassall midway through the half, and in the dying minutes of the game, goals to Andrew Trenery after an excellent hit from Kim Croot, and then Jamie Harding combined to set the Tigers tally at five goals.
Those who witnessed the game went away with a different view than the scorecard would suggest, as the Hoops kept up the pressure for the full seventy minutes of play but were not as polished in their forward line and did not reap the same rewards from their hard work as their opponents.
Anderson received the Tigers’ best player votes, ahead of teammates Bradley Alexander, Alex Magrath and Simon Famers, while Cameron Bardell played well for the Hoops at full-back and Sandon Schultz put in a solid performance at centre-half back.
The final game in this competition took place under the lights, with the home team taking on the improving Nhill Rangers.
Goals to Lachlan Schultz and Jason Reichelt saw the Rangers ahead at half time, and Schultz scored again early in the second half to increase the lead. A field goal by Ameilia Rintoule showed that Burras went not giving up.
With the Nhill side applying considerable forward pressure, Dimboola did not create many more chances to score, and the match finished as a three goals to one win for the Rangers, who remain undefeated and in second place on the ladder.
Rangers’ centre half-back, Hamish Pearse, was his team’s best player, and Daniel Danish controlled the mid-field for the Burras.
In the Women’s competition, Kaniva controlled most of the play in their encounter with the Horsham Jets, scoring once in the first half through Olivia Williams and twice after the break off the sticks of Cally Shurdington and Quendra Pearse.
The three Kaniva goalscorers shared the best player votes for their team, and it was Alana Morrow, Ellie Morrow and Robyn Creek who stood out for the Jets.
The new-look combination of Dimboola and Warracknabeal players, playing as the Roos, has not yet had the chance to settle as a team, having already taken on the two top teams in the competition so far this season.
This week it was the second-placed Nhill Thunderbirds who had the better of their game against the Roos to the tune of five goals. Caitlyn Rowe scored three times, and Ellie Murden twice and centre-forward Kellie Farquharson was named their best.
The Roos’ defenders were kept busy, and it was no surprise that their best players came from that part of the field, with half-backs Ameilia Rintoule and Naomi Kuhnell and full-back Cara Hadzig all playing well.
The 2021 Horsham Bombers continue to enhance their early-season reputation with another solid win on the weekend. Their third win in as many weeks came at the expense of the Kaniva Raiders when they had five goal scorers contribute a total of eight goals, whilst they kept the Kaniva Raiders’ forwards quiet with only one goal.
Tom Batchelor dominated the scoring with four goals but had plenty of support, with four teammates scoring one each, but the depth within their team also stretches to the defence where Lars Simmons and Kristina Schwartz were voted as their best.
Considering the scoreline, it was no surprise that defenders featured highly in the umpire votes for the Raiders, with Briony Williams, Charlie White, and Logan Krelle all playing well.
It was a similar scenario in the other game when the Yanac Warriors ran out six-goal victors over the Warracknabeal Revengers.
Having played the first twenty minutes of their game without a goalkeeper, the Revengers did well to keep the Yanac Warriors’ forwards in check and only conceded four goals by half time, and once Sam Goodwin padded up and took his place on the last line of defence his determined work, along with full-back Clarice Bennett prevented the scores from blowing out beyond the final six-goal margin.
Rourkey Croot scored four goals for the Warriors, and Charlotte Dixon scored two, with Hayden Pedie named as their best player. The Revengers’ Leah Eilola controlled their midfield confidently, giving good defensive support to Goodwin and Bennett. Noah Eilola put in a determined game on the forward line to also be amongst the best.
Under 12 Development Program
Three enthusiastic games were played in the Under 12 Development Program, showing that the future is bright for the upcoming seasons when these players progress to the higher grades.
The Nhill Bandits played well against the Dimboola Kookaburras, as did the Warrack Avengers against the Yanac Lowan Stars. Horsham Black Hawks played out a two-all draw with the Kaniva Rampagers.
Round Three Results
Yanac Tigers 5 (Goals - J Harding, B Alexander, A Trenery, C Hassall, E Anderson; Best - E Anderson, B Alexander, A Magrath, S Farmers) defeated Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - O Bennett; Best - C Bardell, S Schultz, O Bennett, R Bennett)
Kaniva Cobras 2 (Goals - M Goodwin, C Beattie; Best - C Beattie, L Mills, M Goodwin, N Krelle) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - J Horsfall; Best - C Williams, T Leffler, P Mackereth, T Roberts)
Nhill Rangers 3 (Goals - L Schultz 2, J Reichelt; Best - H Pearse, L Schultz, J Reichelt) defeated Dimboola Burras 1 (Goal - A Rintoule; Best - D Danisch, T Jorgensen, B Tischler)
| ||Pts|| GD|
|Warrack Hoops *||6||-2|
|Dimboola Burras *||2||-5|
* - The Warrack Hoops and Dimboola Burras both received two points for the abandoned game in round two.
Kaniva Women 3 (Goals - O Williams, C Shurdington, Q Pearse; Best - Q Pearse, O Williams, C Shurdington) defeated Horsham Jets 0 (Best - A Morrow, E Morrow, R Creek)
Nhill Thunderbirds 5 (Goals - C Rowe 3, E Murden 2; Best - K Farquharson, E Murden, J Hauselberger) defeated Dimboola Roos 0 (Best - A Rintoule, N Kuhnell, C Hadzig)
Bye - Yanac Women
| ||Pts|| GD|
Under 16 -
Horsham Bombers 8 (Goals - T Batchelor 4, L Simmons, S Schwarz, H Mackereth, J Schwarz; Best - L Simmons, K Schwarz, T Batchelor) defeated Kaniva Raiders 1 (Goal - X Stimson; Best - B Williams, C White, L Krelle)
Yanac Warriors 6 (R Croot 4, C Dickinson 2; Best - H Pedie, R Croot, A Farmers) defeated Warrack Revengers 0 (Best - L Eilola, N Eilola, S Goodwin, C Bennett)
Bye - Nhill Leopards
| ||Pts|| GD|
Under 12 Developemetn Program -
Dimboola Kookaburras 0 (Encouragement Award - J Hall) v. Nhill Bandits 8 (Encouragement Award - Lowe, E Woodward)
Yanac Lowan Stars 0 v. Warrack Avengers 8
Horsham Black Hawks 2 v. Kaniva Rampagers 2 (Encouragement Award - C Bedford)