Wimmera Hockey Association matches were played in Kaniva and Horsham on the weekend.
The women’s competition this year is very even, with some upset wins on the weekend. Yanac was able to get over the Horsham Highlanders at home. The first half was evenly played, but Yanac broke away in the second half after Horsham’s Robyn Creek went off injured. Yanac’s captain Sarah Coughlan was best afield, creating lots of chances for scorers Sheree May and Naomi Brick. Anne Blackwood was solid in defence for Yanac. Kate Ferrier and Carmel McFarlane were the best for the Highlanders, who will be disappointed after this loss. Yanac are showing themselves to be a team to beat in the competition this year.
Dimboola women and Kaniva women played a very even contest at Kaniva. Dimboola’s Michelle Searle played a great defensive game, keeping Kaniva’s score to only one in the first half, despite them having most of the attack. Dimboola forwards Elizabeth Klinge and Jess Ross, however, made no mistake, converting one each for the half. Kaniva came out fired up in the second half and put one on the board early, through Rachel Clark. Dimboola had many more chances to score late in the half, but some good defending by Kaniva’s Hannah Bedford, Donna Meyer and goalie Krystal Smith made sure that nothing got through. The game was drawn at the final siren, a fitting end to a spectacular match.
In the men’s competition, top side Tigers were too good for the Horsham Hurricanes. Simon Farmers created lots of opportunities and the Tigers scored through Mick Dart and Jamie Harding. For the Hurricanes, goalie Steve Gross stood out, stopping many shots at goal, whilst at the other end Luke Dunn and Jarred Knoop were dangerous in the circle. The Tigers seem to be unstoppable this season and are best bets for premiers if they can keep up their form.
The junior competition saw a close tussle between bottom sides Warriors and Bombers, with Warriors prevailing for their first win of the season. Marney Croot played an outstanding game for the Warriors, setting up many shots and eventually scoring herself, to give her team the win. Alex Wheaton was also important for the Warriors. Back line player Patrick Bush was solid in defence for the Bombers, whilst half back Monique Schwedes pushed the ball forward in a desperate attempt to allow her team to score. The Yanac players will all be ecstatic to finally have their first win this season.
Nhill Bandits won an important game against Warracknabeal Revengers. The game was played at a fast and furious pace, with both teams having great teamwork. Captain Jarryd Bendall and sister Lauren were the scorers for the Bandits, showing very good skills. Ethan Schilling and Tom Hewitt were the best in the forward line for the Revengers, creating lots of chances, just unable to convert. In the end it was the Bandits who made the most of their chances to come out 2-0 winners.