Wimmera Hockey games were played in Warracknabeal on the weekend, with some surprise wins and close matches.
In an upset, up and coming Warracknabeal Revengers scored a win over top side Nhill Leopards. Leopards had been undefeated all year, and it took the determined Revengers to show them up. Ethan and Cassie Schilling were the scorers for the Revengers, whilst the Leopard’s sole goal came from best afield Adrian Creek. The Revengers defence of Simon Bardell and Nakita Langman were the stars of the day, keeping Leopards forwards such as Natalie Jones, Oscar Stephan and Tom Cook away from the action. However, the Leopards defenders Alannah Creek and goalie Chris Jones also played well to stop the fierce Revengers. This was a very even match, with close shots coming from both sides, but in the end it was the Revenger’s day, scoring a much deserved win.
Kaniva Raiders got to work straight away in their match against Dimboola Kookaburras, scoring early. However, Dimboola defence of Luke Searle and James Keating held off the attack, until near half time, when Raiders scored again through Jordan Clark. Kaniva continued to dominate for the second half, with Dimboola goalie Coby Villis getting lots of work and making some spectacular saves. Kaniva used the ball very creatively around goal, with a fantastic goal coming from teamwork between brothers Brayden and Jordan Clark. Jordan ended with three goals for the match. Dimboola were very gutsy in defeat, but Kaniva had the match from the outset.
In the men’s competition, a close match between Tigers and Hurricanes saw the Tigers steal the match through accurate shots and making the most of their opportunities, to win 4-1. The goals were evenly spread within the Tigers team, with the best players being half backs Luke Reichenbach and Mick Dart. Paul Mackereth was the best for the Hurricanes, scoring their goal, whilst defender Richard Kemp was the best at keeping the Tigers hunger at bay. Tigers sit quite comfortably at the top of the men’s table this year and don’t look to be really challenged in the finals.
In the women’s competition, Dimboola women scored a surprise but well deserved win against Kaniva. Jess Ross scored the only goal for Dimboola and was also instrumental throughout the game in setting up many attacking runs. Kaniva had a majority of the play throughout the match, with forwards Claire and Lauren McDonald attacking well, but were unlucky not to score. Hannah Bedford once again played an outstanding game for Kaniva. Dimboola’s backs Michelle Searle and Naomi Kuhnell combined well in the half back line, whilst goalie Cassie Curtis was solid against a threatening Kaniva attack. This win should motivate Dimboola, who are unfortunate to be on the bottom of the ladder.
In another women’s match, Horsham Highlanders were determined in their win over Yanac. The match was played evenly with great passing and teamwork on both sides. Highlander’s Kate Ferrier was a key player and her goal in the early part of the second half boosted the Highlanders. However, Yanac’s Sheree May had a comeback of her own and the teams were once again even. With some encouragement from Robyn Creek and Lorna Schilling, Highlanders continued to fight and Lorna scored to put Highlanders in front. Sarah Coughlan and Anne Blackwood played a fantastic game for Yanac. This is a confidence boosting win for the Highlanders, who could be very dangerous if they make this year’s finals.