Following the disappointment of not being able to complete the 2021 season, it was with great relief that the officials and players of the Wimmera Hockey Association took to the turf at Dimboola on Saturday with the prospect of a full and interrupted 2022 season stretching out ahead.

Despite some teams lacking depth in their playing rosters after off-season personnel changes and struggling to get all their best team on the field for the first games of the season, some entertaining matches were played in the usual friendly sporting spirit, with some skilful hockey on display.

The feature game of the round was the clash between Yanac and Kaniva, the two dominant teams in the Women’s competition last season who were on track to meet in the grand final before the season was abandoned in August.

After a very even first quarter where neither scored, the reigning premier, Yanac, opened the scoring three minutes into the second quarter when Jules Braisby scored from a penalty corner. Three minutes later, Briony Williams converted a penalty corner for Kaniva, seeing the scores level at halftime.

In an ominous start to the third quarter, Kaniva took control when they piled on three goals in six minutes, with Leonie Shurdington and Sharon Williams twice, eluding the Yanac defence. This established the three-goal buffer they would finish the match with after more even play in the last quarter prevented any further scoring at either end of the field.

After not playing last season, the Warrack Women’s team marked their return by scoring three goals, more than they did for their entire previous season, in their match against Horsham Jets. Although they didn’t win the game, after the Jets replied with four goals, they have indicated to the competition that they will be competitive in 2022. Alana Morrow scored three of the Jets’ goals, and in her first senior game, Clarice Bennett scored one of Warrack’s goals.

The six-times reigning premiers, Yanac Tigers, confirmed that they are not yet prepared to relinquish their position as the leaders in the Open competition with a confident six-goal victory over the Kaniva Cobras.

The following two matches were much closer, with the Horsham Hurricanes holding on for a two goals to one win over the Warrack Hoops in a game that could have gone either way right up until the last few minutes, and the Dimboola Burras scored twice while keeping the Nhill Rangers scoreless in an otherwise even match under the lights in the final match of the round.

The leading teams from 2021 in the Under 16 competition picked up where they left off, with the Yanac Warriors and Horsham Bombers both scoring confident victories over the Kaniva Raiders and Warrack Revengers respectively.

Wimmera Hockey Association - Round One Results

Open -

Yanac Tigers 6 (Goals - T Alexander 2, J Cramer 2, B Alexander, N Alexander; Best - T Alexander, B Alexander, N Alexander, R Croot) defeated Kaniva Cobras 0 (Best - C Beattie, L Mills, N Krelle)

Horsham Hurricanes 2 (Goals - W Gulline, T Batchelor; Best - P Mackereth, W Gulline, T Batchelor) defeated Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - B Williamson; Best - C Bardell, R Bennett, B Williamson)

Dimboola Burras 2 (Goals - D Danisch, Z Collard; Best - J Paley, T Jorgensen, B Tischler) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - H Pearse, D Schwarz, K Rowe)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Tigers46
Dimboola Burras42
Horsham Hurricanes41
Warrack Hoops0-1
Nhill Rangers0-2
Kaniva Cobras0-6

Women -

Kaniva Women 4 (Goals - Sharon Williams 2, L Shurdington, B Williams; Best - O Williams, Sigourney Williams, Sharon Williams) defeated Yanac Women 1 (Goal - J Braisby; Best - E Alexander, S Hedt, H Honeyman)

Horsham Jets 4 (Goals - A Morrow 4, L Shilling 1; Best - A Morrow, L Schilling, S Puls, K Triffitt) defeated Warrack Women 3 (Goals - C Bennett, J Bennett, F Eilola; Best - L Eilola, F Eilola, D Templeton)

 Pts  GD
Kaniva Women43
Horsham Jets41
Nhill Thunderbirds20
Warrack Women0-1
Yanac Women0-3

Under 16 -

Horsham Bombers 16 (Goals - T Batchelor 7, L Simmons 3, A Heal 2, L Nuske, R Knoop, J Schwarz; Best - L Nuske, T Batchelor, J Nuske) defeated Warrack Revengers 1 (Goal - C Bennett; Best - C Bennett, S Williamson, H Knoop)

Yanac Warriors 9 (Goals - A Farmers 3, R Croot 2, H Pedie 2, Archie Zanker, S Pedie; Best - R Croot, H Pedie, A Farmers) defeated Kaniva Raiders 0 (Best - C Dodson, L Krelle, O Curtis)

 Pts  GD
Horsham Bombers415
Yanac Warriors49
Nhill Leopards20
Kaniva Raiders0-9
Warrack Revengers0-15

Under 12 Development Program

The Under 12 Development Program will commence next weekend.