With the fifteen-round Wimmera Hockey Association season passing the halfway point with round eight on Saturday, competition for places at the top of each division is hotting up, with all teams still in with a chance of qualifying for finals action, although some have more work to do than others.

- Open -

The evenness of the Open competition was on display when although the Yanac Tigers remain undefeated at the top, the round started with three wins separating teams second to fifth, but by Saturday evening, that margin had been reduced to two. Even the sixth-placed Nhill Rangers have shown they can still give any team above them a scare.

The scoreline in the Yanac Tigers-Warrack Hoops match did not accurately reflect how this match played out on the field. These teams again fought out a great competitive game, with the Hoops’ solid defence repelling many more attacking moves than the four Tigers’ goals might suggest.

The Horsham Hurricanes worked hard to defeat the Nhill Rangers, setting up the result with two goals in the first quarter and another before halftime. A fourth goal in the second half sealed the win, which keeps them in the top four, but the Rangers will need a win soon if they are to challenge for a place in the finals.

The Dimboola Burras played their best game in more than a month to overcome a determined Kaniva Cobras by three goals; however, due to other favourable results, the Cobras remain clear in second place, and although the Burras still hold fifth place, they are close enough to pounce if any of the teams above them falter.

- Women -

Yanac’s recent good form continued with a three goal victory over Warracknabeal in the Women’s competition, but this was another match where the scorecard did not do justice to the pressure they had to withstand. Two goals in the first half, one from a penalty stroke and one from a penalty corner, did not reflect the determined defence by Warrack that kept the margin in check at halftime.

The only score in an otherwise very even second half came in the dying seconds of the last quarter when Yanac scored their third.

The Nhill Thunderbirds scored mid-way through the second quarter in their game against the HorshamJets. This became a match-winning lead, as although both teams created scoring opportunities throughout the rest of the game, the defences held firm, and no further scoring resulted, giving the ‘Birds a narrow win.

Despite having the bye, Kaniva Women kept their place at the top of the ladder.

- Under 16 -

In the Under 16 competition, the Yanac Warriors continued their perfect season with a win over the Warrack Revengers, and the Nhill Leopards have moved two wins clear in second place on the ladder after defeating the Horsham Bombers.

The two points Kaniva Raiders received for the bye combined with the margin in the Warriors-Revengers game have seen them rise into the top four, at the expense of the Warrack team, but only courtesy of a superior goal difference.

- Next Round -

There will be no games this weekend as the Association enjoys a mid-season break before launching into the last seven rounds, running into the finals in late August and September.

Games will resume on Saturday, 9 July, with Round Nine to be played at Davis Park in Nhill.

Wimmera Hockey Association - Round Eight Results

- Open -

Yanac Tigers 4 (Goals - T Alexander 2, C Hassall, J Cramer; Best - B Alexander, C Hassall, T Alexander) defeated Warrack Hoops 0 (Best - H Wagenknecht, C Bardell, S Schultz)

Horsham Hurricanes 4 (Goals - T Leffler 2, T Batchelor, L Simmons; Best - T Leffler, S Hoffman, B Woodhart) defeated Nhill Rangers 0 (Best - L Marra, J Reichelt, C Schultz)

Dimboola Burras 3 (Goals - J Harris 2, J Klinge; Best - J Harris, J Paley, D Danisch) defeated Kaniva Cobras 1 (Goal - J Clark; Best - B Lovett, C Beattie, B Miller)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Tigers3233
Kaniva Cobras2011
Warrack Hoops163
Horsham Hurricanes16-1
Dimboola Burras12-16
Nhill Rangers0-30

- Women -

Yanac Women 3 (Goals - E Alexander, C Smith, S Hedt; Best - C Smith, S Stanford, L Cramer) defeated Warrack Women 0 (Best - B McMaster, L Eilola, C Hadzig)

Nhill Thunderbirds 1 (Goal - C Rowe; Best - C Kessler, C Rowe, K Clark) defeated Horsham Jets 0 (Best - H Werner, L Schilling, G Taylor)

 Pts  GD
Kaniva Women2419
Yanac Women227
Horsham Jets16-3
Nhill Thunderbirds12-10
Warrack Women6-13

- Under 16 -

Nhill Leopards 3 (Goals - J Clark, S Rowe, I Deckert; Best - I Deckert, D Clark, S Rowe) defeated Horsham Bombers 2 (Goals - T Batchelor 2; Best - L Simmons, T Batchelor, S Schwarz)

Yanac Warriors 8 (Goals - R Croot 5, L Farmers, Archie Zanker, I Hedt; Best - R Croot, L Farmers, A Zanker) defeated Warrack Revengers 0 (Best - L Nuske, O Nuske, K Johns, N Eilola)

 Pts  GD
Yanac Warriors2837
Nhill Leopards229
Horsham Bombers1411
Kaniva Raiders8-22
Warrack Revengers8-35

- Under 12 Development Program -

Horsham Black Hawks 5 (Goals - H Toet 3, J Toet 2; Encouragement Award - J Toet) v. Nhill Bandits 3 (Goals - C Bone, B Clark, A Jochinke; Encouragement Award - C Bone, B Clark)

Yanac Lowan Stars 1 (Goals - A Zanker; Encouragement Award - Z Rethus) v. Warrack Avengers 4 (Goals - H Lomax 3, C Peters)

Kaniva Rampagers 1 (Goal - T Rethus) v. Dimboola Kookaburras 3 (Goals - C Elliott 2, J Ward; Encouragement Award - W Hadzig, L Elliott)