A burst of cold and damp weather on Saturday reminded players that hockey is a winter sport when round six of the Wimmera Hockey Association season was played at the Yanac Recreation Reserve, but there were still several significant results.

Open -

Despite going down by six goals, the struggling Nhill Rangers put in an impressive performance to keep their more fancied opponents, the Kaniva Cobras, scoreless until just before three-quarter time. Blake Miller opened the scoring by converting a penalty corner with one minute remaining in the second quarter.

Most of the play took place in the Cobras’ forward line, but solid defence, led by some determined work by Rangers’ goalkeeper Kayden Rowe and reliable defenders Lee Marra and David Reichelt,
kept the game alive well into the last quarter.

As the Nhill defenders tired late in the match, the relentless attacking pressure of the Cobras saw them increase the winning margin in the last quarter. The goals were spread around with Jordan Clark scoring with a solid hit from the top of the ‘D’, an athletic solo-run gave Max Goodwin the time and space to eluded the goalkeeper, Jacob Dixon deflected a solid hit into the goals, and a second field goal to Clark and one to Clint Beattie gave the final six goal margin.

Beattie, Miller, Clark, and Beau Lovett were named as the Cobras’ better players, and it was no surprise with most of the action in the Rangers’ defensive area, goalkeeper Rowe, full-backs Marra and Reichelt, and centre half back Hanish Pearse were their better players.

This result has seen the Cobras move into outright second place on the ladder, with a one-game break back to third place, and the Rangers remain in sixth place and run the risk of losing touch with the top four if they cannot find a win soon.

The Hoops’ captain Sandon Schultz converted a penalty stroke in the second quarter, which proved to be the only difference on the scoreboard between the Warracknabeal team and the Dimboola Burras. Defender Hanish Wagenknecht played a solid game for the Hoops, as did consistent performer Faith Eilola. Full-back Brett Tischler and half back Tim Jorgensen were among the better players for Dimboola. Kaniva’s Max Goodwin, filling in for the Hoops, and Nhill’s Hamish Pearse filling in for Dimboola, were also named amongst the best for the game.

After losing their first three matches of the season, the Hoops have won their last three and have moved into third place on the ladder, and the Burras have slipped to fifth place but are still well in the mix, just one game behind the Hoops and Hurricanes.

Goals to Todd Alexander and Nathan Colbert in the first quarter set up the Yanac Tigers’ sixth win from as many games this season. However, the tenacious Horsham Hurricanes took a positive from the match, as they became the first opponent this season to score against the reigning premier’s formidable defence, courtesy of a goal by Bec Batchelor, who spends most of her time on a hockey field as the goalkeeper for the Horsham Jets.

The Hurricanes conceded one more goal for the match, only minutes into the second half from the stick of Brad Alexander, but as they could not breach the Tigers’ defence again, the game finished with a three goals to one result.

Todd and Brad Alexander were the better players for the Tigers, and Stu Hoffman and Lars Simmons stood out for the Hurricanes.

Being undefeated, the Tigers sit comfortably on top of the ladder, with a two-win buffer back to the Cobras, and the Hurricanes remain in fourth, but there is only one win separating second and fourth.

Women -

Kaniva continues to impress with a win over the Nhill Thunderbirds to remain on top of the Women’s competition ladder, having not lost a game yet this season. Like their counterparts in the Open match, the Nhill defenders did well to keep out the persistent Kaniva attackers for as long as they did, but sheer attacking pressure, which earned them sixteen penalty corners for the game, resulted in two Kaniva goals that the ‘Birds were unable to match.

Jennie Hauselburger was Kaniva’s best player, ahead of goal scorer Olivia Williams and Jess Wallis. Querida Pearse scored their other goal.

Chyna Kessler, Kendra Clark, and Naomi Kuhnell were the standout players for the Thunderbirds.

After a slow start to their season, Yanac is now up to second place on the ladder, only one win behind Kaniva, after defeating the Horsham Jets. Although they had established a four goal lead midway through the third quarter, the Jets fought back with the next two goals to keep their chances of a win alive, but another Yanac goal late in the game sealed the result at five goals to two.

Lexi Farmers led the scoring with two goals, and Erin Alexander was Yanac’s best player, and Alana Morrow and Rhiannon Marr played well for the Jets.

Under 16 -

There is also an undefeated team in the Under 16 division, with the Yanac Warriors winning their fifth game for the season by defeating their closest challenger, the second-placed Horsham Bombers, by seven goals. Hayden Pedie scored three goals, and Archie Zanker with two were the winners’ multiple goal scorers, and Pedie and Lexi Famers were their better players.

Goalkeeper Lars Simmons and fullbacks Thomas Batchelor and Chase Blake played well for the Bombers.

Despite the loss, the Bombers retained their hold on second place on the ladder, behind the Warriors, who are comfortably in the top spot.

The Nhill Leopards are now third on the ladder and have drawn level on points with the Bombers after defeating the Kaniva Raiders by four goals to one. Three goals to Isaac Deckert dominated the Leopards’ scorecard, and Susan Bone scored their other one, while Logan Krelle scored the one goal for the Raiders. Better players included Deckert, Oliver Bone, and Seve Delaney for the Nhill team and Charlie White, Flynn Dodson, Lewis Williams, and Krelle for the Raiders.
The Wimmera Hockey Association now has a week off over the long weekend before returning to Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park for round seven on June 18.
Wimmera Hockey Association - Round Six Results -

Open -

Warracknabeal Hoops 1 (Goals - S Schultz; Best - H Wagenknecht, M Goodwin, F Eilola) defeated Dimbooal Burras 0 (Best - B Tischler, T Jorgensen, H Pearse)

Kaniva Cobras 6 (Goals - J Clark 2, C Beattie, B Miller, J Dixon, M Goodwin; Best - C Beattie, B Miller, B Lovett, J Clark) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - K Rowe, H Pearse, L Marra, D Reichelt)

Yanac Tigers 3 (Goals - N Colbert, T Alexander, B Alexander; Best - T Alexander, B Alexander, J Honeyman) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - R Batchelor; Best - S Hoffman, L Simmons, R Duggan)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Tigers2424
Kaniva Cobras168
Warrack Hoops124
Horsham Hurricanes120
Dimboola Burras8-13
Nhill Rangers0-23

Women -

Yanac 5 (Goals - L Farmers 2, S Hedt, E Alexander, C Zanker; Best - E Alexander, L Farmers, S Hedt, C Smith) defeated Horsham Jets 2 (Goals - E Morrow, A Heal; Best - A Morrow, R Marr, A Heal)

Kaniva 2 (Goals - Q Pearse, O Williams; Best - J Hauselberger, O Williams, J Wallis) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 0 (Best - C Kessler, K Clark, N Kuhnell)

Bye - Warracknabeal

 Pts  GD
Kaniva Women2220
Yanac Women164
Horsham Jets12-3
Nhill Thunderbirds6-11
Warrack Women4-10

Under 16 -

Nhill Leopards 4 (Goals - I Deckert 3, S Rowe; Best - I Deckert, O Bone, S Delaney) defeated Kaniva Raiders 1 (Goal - L Krelle; Best - C White, F Dodson, L Williams, L Krelle)

Yanac Warriors 7 (Goals - H Pedie 3, A Zanker 2, R Croot, L Farmers; Best - H Pedie, L Farmers, R Croot) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - L Simmons, T Batchelor, C Blake)

Bye - Warracknabeal Revengers

 Pts  GD
Yanac Warriors2229
Horsham Bombers1413
Nhill Leopards143
Warrack Revengers8-22
Kaniva Raiders2-23

Under 12 Development Program -

Yanac Lowan Stars 0 (Encouragement Award - M Dart) v. Horsham Black Hawks 5 (Goals - H Toet 3, L Hobbs 2)

Nhill Bandits 1 (Goal - S Albrecht; Encouragement Award - A Albrecht) v. Kaniva Rampagers 3 (Goals - R Doyle, D Stimson, F Dodson; Encouragement Award - D Stimson)

Warracknabeal Avengers 6 (Goals - S Williamson 2, C Elliott, H Lomax, R Bish, R Hadzig; Encouragement Award - R Bish) v. Dimboola Kookaburras 2 (Goals - J Ward, A Corbett; Encouragement Award - A Corbett, R Hadzig)