Thursday, July 26, 2007

Round 14 preview

This weekend’s Wimmera Hockey will be split between the grounds of Dimboola and Kaniva. The day starts with a showdown between the two Nhill teams, Bandits and Leopards. History shows that Leopards should win, as they are unbeaten this year, but if anyone could beat them, it is the Bandits. Bandits have many skilled players such as John Schwartz, Morgan Heenan and Tim Braendler who will be fired up to play their Nhill counterparts. However, Leopards have a formidable line up of players this year with threats in the forward line such as Oscar Stephan, Tom Cook, Natalie Jones, Sarah Wallis and Jayden Newcombe, who have all scored over five goals this season. This is sure to be a tough game and although it looks to be going the Leopard’s way, it will be all action until the last whistle.
Other junior games see the Horsham Black Hawks take on the Yanac Warriors. When these teams played earlier in the season, it was a break through win for the Black Hawks, but with both teams having improved, it will be interesting to see who’s on top this time. Black Hawks have some improving players including Elly O’Connor and Will Lehman, who are showing more capability as the year moves on. However, Warriors have really lifted their game, keeping top side Leopards to only four goals last week. Erin Blackwood and Alex and Jess Wheaton are consistent every week for Yanac and with their help, Warriors could secure an encouraging win.
In the men’s competition, movers Kaniva men are playing Warracknabeal Hoops. Kaniva come off a hard fought draw with Hurricanes last week, whilst Hoops are off a five-nil thrashing from Tigers. Kaniva will be hoping to keep going their uphill run, whilst Hoops will be regrouping after a disappointing loss last week. Christian Stimpson and Alan King will be putting in their all for Kaniva, whilst Hoops have experience in Cameron Bardell and Steven Laverty.
The women’s games will continue to be close, as bottom teams Horsham and Dimboola fight it out for fifth position. Both these teams could possibly still make the finals, but will need some more consistent, decisive wins if they are to be any chance. The main difference in the scores will be determined by who is the most accurate near goal. Kristen Klinge and Adina King will most likely be firing for Dimboola, whilst Horsham will look to Ellie Morrow and Molly Salter to convert. A win this week would take Dimboola from the bottom of the ladder.
Also in the women’s competition, Yanac will take on Nhill Thunderbirds in a contest sure to be even. Whilst Thunderbirds have a few disappointing losses in the last few weeks, they have a fantastic line up of players such as Ebony Stephan, Bonnie McLeod and Laura Wallis, who, if functioning well together, make up a formidable team. Yanac, however, have players such as Sarah Coughlan, Jill Kube and Anne Blackwood who all are instrumental in their team’s success. This game will be decided on which team wants the win more and it looks to be extremely close, if not drawn.
The other games see Dimboola men tackle the Hurricanes, Warracknabeal and Kaniva women fight it out, Bombers take on the Raiders and the two junior Dimboola teams, Kangaroos and Kookaburras face each other.

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