Players, officials and spectators enjoyed perfect mild winter weather for the seventh round of the Wimmera Hockey Association season on Saturday at Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park, and there were several unexpected results.

- Open -

The top three teams in the Open competition all recorded wins that have firmed their grip on places in the upper half of the ladder, but other than the undefeated Tigers, none of the others are yet assured of a place in the finals and must continue to perform.

The Kaniva Cobras retained their grip on second place with a comfortable win over the Horsham Hurricanes after setting up the victory with a dominant first quarter that yielded three goals.

Whilst the play became more even as the game progressed, the Cobras increased their lead by one more goal in each of the following quarters, but the Hurricanes could only claw back one in the final quarter.

The Warrack Hoops remain in third place after holding off a determined Nhill Rangers. Two goals in the second quarter and another in the third established the three-goal winning margin, but as they have done throughout the season, the Rangers fought out the match, and the Hoops had to fight hard to earn each scoring opportunity.

Unfortunately, the Dimboola Burras forfeited their match to the Yanac Tigers, who remain undefeated on top of the ladder, and although the Burras are in fifth place, they remain a threat to the teams above them and are still very much in the mix to play finals.

-Women -

The Horsham Jets became the first to defeat Kaniva this season in the Women’s division with a two-goal to one win. After the Kaniva forwards missed an early opportunity to score from a solid square pass, the Jets soon recorded their first goal to take the lead by quarter time.

Even play in the second quarter saw both teams create scoring opportunities, but both defences were up to the challenge and repelled all attempts, and the scoreline remained unchanged at the long break.

More of the same in the third quarter set up an exciting last period of play, which yielded one goal each, giving the Jets’ the win.

In the other Women’s match, Warrack earned their first points on the field this season, hanging on for a one-all draw with the Nhill Thunderbirds. The home team took the lead early in the second quarter, and after the Nhill team replied in the third, it set up another tight final quarter which, after seventeen minutes of even play, ended with no further scoring making the match only the second tied game this season.

- Under 16

In the Under 16 competition, the young Kaniva Raiders earned their first win for 2022 at the expense of the Horsham Bombers, and the Nhill Leopards moved up into second place on the ladder with a win over the Warracknabeal Revengers.

- Full scores and current ladders appear at the end of this article -

Round Eight Preview

The Wimmera Hockey Association returns to the synthetic surface at Dimboola for the first time since early May, and with the season just over the halfway mark, several teams will need to make a move if they want to feature in the finals.

The Dimboola Burras will be keen for a hit after having not played for several weeks due to forfeiting their last match. They play their home turf well, and by playing the evening match, they should be able to put their strongest side on the field, so the Kaniva Cobras will need to bring their A-game if they are to continue their winning streak. This game will be much closer than the three wins separating them on the ladder might suggest.

Two other teams that play a style that adapts well to the synthetic surface are the Yanac Tigers and Warrack Hoops, who meet in the twilight match. Regardless of the result, these two also put on an exciting display of hockey, but the Hoops will have to put on their best display for the season if they are to inflict the Tigers’ first loss.

Despite coming off a loss last weekend, the Horsham Hurricanes have shown patches of impressive form this season and have the chance to improve their consistency when they take on the Nhill Rangers, who are still struggling to find their first win this season.

The Horsham Jets will want to follow up their win over the previously undefeated Kaniva Women last weekend with a good performance against the Nhill Thunderbirds to confirm their last result was not a chance occurrence. At the same time, the Nhill team will want to play themselves into some form if they are to maintain their grip on a place in the top four.

Warracknabeal showed some determination in their draw with Nhill in round seven, and they meet a Yanac side that has not played for three weeks courtesy of the mid-season break and a bye, so this could be their opportunity to spring a surprise and overcome the reigning-premier before they get back to form.

The most interest in the Under 16 division will be when the Horsham Bombers and Nhill Leopards play the first game on Saturday morning. The Bombers slipped from second to third on the ladder after losing to the Kaniva Raiders last weekend and were displaced by the Leopards, who overcame the Warrack Revengers. The winner of this match will finish the round in second place on the ladder and gain a valuable psychological advantage over their opponent for when they meet again late in the season.

The popular Under 12 Development Program will take centre stage at 12.30 on the synthetic pitch to showcase the next generation of Wimmera hockey players.
Round Eight Fixture

At the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre on Saturday, 25 June 2022.

9:30 am Horsham Bombers v Nhill Leopards
11:00 am  Yanac Warriors v Warracknabeal Revengers
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program
  Horsham Black Hawks v Nhill Bandits
  Yanac Lowan Stars v Warracknabeal Avengers
  Kaniva Rampagers v Dimboola Kookaburras
1:30 pm Yanac Women v Warracknabeal Women
3:00 pm Horsham Jets v Nhill Thunderbirds
4:30 pm Yanac Tigers v Warracknabeal Hoops
6:00 pm Horsham Hurricanes v Nhill Rangers
7:30 pm Kaniva Cobras v Dimboola Burras

Bye - Kaniva Raiders and Kaniva Women
Wimmera Hockey Association - Round Seven Results

- Open -

Warracknabeal Hoops 3 (Goals - H Johns, M Williamson, M Peters; Best - M Williamson, C Bardell, J Smith) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - J Reichelt, K Rowe, D Reichelt)

Kaniva Cobras 6 (Goals - J Clark 3, M Goodwin 2, J Bedford; Best - J Clark, M Goodwin, N Krelle) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 1 (Goal - T Leffler; Best - T Leffler, S Hoffman, B Woodhart)

Yanac Tigers (5) defeated Dimboola Burras (0) by forfeit

 Pts  GD
Yanac Tigers2829
Kaniva Cobras2013
Warrack Hoops167
Horsham Hurricanes12-5
Dimboola Burras8-18
Nhill Rangers0-26

- Women -

Horsham Jets 2 (Goals - A Morrow 2; Best - A Morrow, E Morrow, H Werner) defeated Kaniva 1 (Goal - O Williams; Best - O Williams, L Stimson, S Williams)

Warracknabeal 1 (Goal - N Langman; Best - B McMaster, L Eilola, F Eilola) drew with Nhill Thunderbirds 1 (Goal - Stacey Rowe; Best - C Kessler, K Clark, N Kuhnell)

Bye - Yanac

 Pts  GD
Kaniva Women2219
Yanac Women184
Horsham Jets16-2
Nhill Thunderbirds8-11
Warrack Women6-10

- Under 16 -

Kaniva Raiders 1 (Goal - C White; Best - C White, J Beattie, L Williams) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - J Schwarz, L Simmons, H Mackereth)

Nhill Leopards 5 (Goals - I Deckert 4, C Bone; Best - I Deckert, O Bone, A Albrecht) defeated Warracknabeal Revengers 2 (Goals - C Bennett, V Ward; Best - K Johns, L Nuske, C Bennett)

Bye - Yanac Warriors

 Pts  GD
Yanac Warriors2429
Nhill Leopards186
Horsham Bombers1412
Warrack Revengers8-25
Kaniva Raiders6-22

- Under 12 Development Program -

Warracknabeal Avengers 3 (Goals - S Williamson 2, H Lomax; Encouragement Award - C Bentley) v. Nhill Bandits 3 (Goals - J Ward 2, B Clark; Encouragement Award - N Krelle, J Ward)

Yanac Lowan Stars 1 (Goals - H Zanker; Encouragement Award - M Zanker) v. Dimboola Kookaburras 1 (Goals - B Schwarz; Encouragement Award - B Schwarz)

Kaniva Rampagers 2 (Goals - R Williams 2; Encouragement Award - C Bedford) v. Horsham Black Hawks 2 (Goals - K Bessalaar, H Di Pietro; Encouragement Award - J Luy)