With the last of the scheduled hockey-free weekends for the season now behind us, the run to the Wimmera Hockey Association finals begun on Saturday with the first of the rescheduled rounds played at Anzac Park in Warrakcnabeal.

Although most results this week reflected ladder positions going into the round, all games were determined contests, with the victors all having to work hard to earn the points.

Open -

Although it finished in the only drawn game for the round, the match involving the Horsham Hurricanes and Nhill Rangers in the Open competition was one of the most entertaining.

Horsham opened the scoring in the sixth minute of the game off the stick of Paul Mackereth, and it took until the equivalent time in the second half for the Rangers to equalise when a hit from Rodney Reichelt eluded the Hurricanes’ defence. Aside from these two successful scoring shots, this game was very even with the ball regularly moving from end to end, but neither team could take control and dominate their opponent.

Although the Hurricanes are still outside the top four, they remain a serious challenger for the finals, and the Rangers will need some more wins in the coming weeks if they are to strengthen their grip on fourth place on the ladder or rise higher before the finals.

Will Gulline continues to be a dominant player for the Hurricanes, and Blake Miller was named the Rangers’ best.

Above - Hurricanes’ goalkeeper Aaron Carter

The Kaniva Cobras did well to keep the Tigers to just one goal in the opening game in this division, but that was still enough for the Yanac team to remain undefeated when they didn’t concede any goals.

The Tigers controlled the game right from the start, with many threatening forward moves, but the Cobras’ determined defence kept them in the game. It was a similar story at the other end of the field as the Yanac defenders prevented Kaniva from making many serious threats to score.

Shaun Alexander was the Tigers’ only goal scorer while his brother Todd was their best player, and Clint Beattie continues his dominant season in defence for the Cobras by being named his team’s best player.

In a case of déjà vu, a game between the Warrack Hoops and Dimboola Burras was cut short after an injury to a player for the second time this season.

Up until the fourteenth minute of the second half when the unfortunate injury occurred, this was a very skilful and entertaining game. Despite the Burras fielding a depleted team, the extra space created with only nine players per team on the field gave the agile players on both sides the opportunity to use their pace and stick skills to good advantage.

The Hoops held the advantage after Royce Bennett finished a quick pass from his brother Oskar with a tomahawk shot to register the game’s only goal. They went close to scoring again soon after when another sharp shot at goal narrowly missed by deflecting off the goal post and back into play.

Unlike the last game between these two teams, which was halted before halftime when the injury occurred and was registered as a no-result, this match had progrtessed well into the second half so the one-goal win to the Hoops became official.

This result firms the Warrack team’s hold on second place on the ladder, and despite the loss, the Burras still have a tenuous hold on third place by just one percent as they are equal on both points and goal difference with the fourth-placed Nhill.

Oskar and Royce were the Hoops’ best players, and that honour for the Burras was shared by Tim Jorgensen and fill-in player Lee Marra.

Women -

The competition-leading Yanac Women won a close game against the Kaniva Women after the scores were tied at halftime.

Kaniva took the early lead when Querida Pearse scored just three minutes into the game, and it took another twenty minutes of even play before Caitlyn Smith got Yanac onto the scorecard.

An early goal in the second half by Yanac’s Mikayla Farmers put her team ahead, and despite another thirty minutes of determined play, neither team scored again which gave Yanac their seventh win from as many games so far this season.

Pearse earned the best player votes for Kaniva, and Erin Alexander was named as Yanac’s best.

The Nhill Thunderbirds accounted for the Horsham Jets in the other match in the Women’s competition by four goals, but this was not a true indication of an evenly contested game.

While Ellie Murden scored two goals and was voted the Thunderbirds’ best player, it was determined play by Alana Morrow in the Jets’ midfield, Robyn Creek at half-back, and goalkeeper Isobella Gulline that prevented the scoreline from blowing out more.

The Dimboola Roos had the bye this week.

Under 16 -

The Yanac Warriors scored four times in their win over the Kainva Raiders to remain undefeated, with Rourky Croot scoring twice and Lucy Cramer and Archie Zanker scored once each.

Briony Williams played a tireless game on the half-back line for the Raiders, while Lexi Famers was the best player for the Warriors.

The Horsham Bombers overcame a determined Nhill Leopards team to continue their impressive 2021 season and remain clear on the second rung of the ladder, but even with this result, the Leopards retain their grip on third place on the ladder after this round.

The two points that the Warrack Revengers received for the bye were enough for them to displace the Kaniva Raiders from fourth place on the ladder.

Under 12 Development Program

The members of the six Under 12 Development Program teams were keen to get back on the field after two weeks off, and the break had benefited their skill and confidence levels.

Since the start of the season, the players’ general skill level in this program has improved significantly, with accurate passing, despite the damp conditions, excellent listening skills, and inclusive team play involving all players, all contributing to a great experience.

The Horsham Black Hawks scored twice against the Nhill Bandits, who scored once, the Warrack Avengers outscored the Dimboola Kookaburras, and the Yanac Lowan Stars finished ahead of the Kaniva Rampagers in a very close game.

Wimmear Hockey Association | Rescheduled Round Six Results -

Open -

Yanac Tigers 1 (Goal - S Alexander; best - T Alexander, S Farmers, L Reichenbach) defeated Kaniva Cobras 0 (Best - C Beattie, D Cole, A Wallis)

Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - P Mackereth; Best - W Gulline, P Mackereth, C Dodson) drew with Nhill Rangers 1 (Goal - R Reichelt; Best - B Miller, L Marra, D Reichelt)

Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - R Bennett; Best - O Bennett, R Bennett, S Schulz) defeated Dimboola Burras 0 (Best - T Jorgensen, L Marra, B Tischler)

 Pts  GD%
Yanac Tigers32  24  580
Warrack Hoops223150
Dimboola Burras14-288
Nhill Rangers14-287
Kaniva Cobras8-750
Horsham Hurricanes6-1648

Women -

Yanac Women 2 (Goals - M Farmers, C Smith; Best - E Alexander, C Smith, A Farmers) defeated Kaniva Women 1 (Goal - Q Pearse; Best - Q Pearse, S Williams, I Williams)

Nhill Thunderbirds 4 (Goals - E Murden 2, K Clark, C Rowe; Best - E Murden, J Hauselberger, C Rowe) defeated Horsham Jets 0 (Best - A Morrow, R Creek, I Gulline)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Women3031
Kaniva Women2012
Nhill Thunderbirds160
Horsham Jets10-13
Dimboola Roos4-30

Under 16 -

Yanac Warriors 4 (Goals - R Croot 2, L Cramer, Archie Zanker; Best - A Farmers, R Croot, H Pedie) defeated Kaniva Raiders 0 (Best - B Williams, F Dodson, C White)

Horsham Bombers 1 (Goal - L Simmons; Best - K Schwarz, N Classeen, L Simmons) defeated Nhill Leopards 0 (Best - K Clark, C Rowe, D Clark)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Warriors3031
Horsham Bombers202
Nhill Leopards122
Warrack Revengers10-20
Kaniva Raiders8-15

Under 12 Development Program -

Horsham Black Hawks 1 (Goal - J Mills; Encouragement Award - J Mackereth) v. Nhill Bandits 2 (Goals - L Clark, O Bone; Encouragement Award - J Rowe)

Yanac Lowan Stars 2 (Goals - S Pedie, T Rethus; Encouragement Award - H Zanker) v. Kaniva Rampagers 1 (Goal - D Stimson)

Warrack Avengers 11 (Goals - S Williamson 6, Durant Nel 3, Diani Nel 2) v. Dimboola Kookaburras 0 (Encouragement Award - W Hadzig)