Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Semi Finals Wrap

The first round of finals for Wimmera Hockey was held in last Saturday, and the match of the day was the qualifying final between Yanac Tigers and Warracknabeal Hoops. From the hit off a large crowd of spectators were captivated by the pace, skill, and intensity of the match. The Hoops held the advantage in the early stages with numerous attacks on goal and were unlucky not to score. Tiger Kim Croot, however, changed the momentum with a bullet that burst through the back of the goal cage, lifting the game to another level. The Hoops answered through Al Crozier a few minutes later and it was 1 all at half time. The second half was very tense with both teams having opportunities. The Tigers having the most, but these were just missing or kept out through the defence of Steve Laverty and Nathan Kent. With the game locked at one all and nearing full time, the Hoops lost key player maker Cameron Bardell, who received a yellow card. This may have been telling, because with less than a minute remaining Kim Croot struck again and the game was over. The Tigers team play and their amazing ability to play out the whole game were again major factors in deciding the outcome.

The Hoops will now play Kaniva men next week in the preliminary final. Kaniva, who are in their first season in the competition, eliminated Horsham Hurricanes 1 nil. From the outset Kaniva were the more determined team, winning most one-on-one contests. It is remarkable the progress they have made this year. Mat McDonald was best a field scoring the game’s only goal. Both defences were solid, Alan King and Reily Sanders standouts for Kaniva restricting the number of shots at goal by the Hurricanes to a trickle. Clint Beattie pulled off a remarkable save in the dying moments that would have evened the scores. Steve Grose, Darren Barnett, and Paul Mackareth, as they have been all season, were the Hurricanes best.

Warracknabeal women, who seem to know how to perform when it matters, go straight into yet another grand final with a strong win over Nhill Thunderbirds. An even first half saw the scores nil all at halftime. Warracknabeal, however, gained the upper hand in the second half and won thanks to two goals to Suzanne Puls.

The Thunderbirds will now play the up and coming Horsham Highlanders in the preliminary final. The Highlanders beat Yanac in a game that saw the momentum swing throughout. With only patches of fluent play, it was the Highlanders that looked more likely to score, with Ellie Morrow dangerous up forward. She scored the first goal and set up the second for Louise Lang who was well positioned on the post to tap it in.

The junior’s elimination final between Warracknabeal Revengers and Kaniva Raiders went to double over time. With scores locked at one all and only minutes until the game would have gone to penalty flicks the Revengers scored a second goal and won the match. Nakita Langman and Peter Aitken scored the goals for the Revengers. Jordan Clark scored the Raiders only goal.

The Revengers will now take on the Kangaroos next week in Kaniva. Nhill Leopards defeated the Kangaroos 3 nil. Best for the Leopards were Natalie Jones and Oscar Stephen. Kangaroo defenders Beau Lovett and Ben Gebert where their best.

Jarryd Bendall and Erin Blackwood

Round 18 Ladder

Men: Hoops 48, Tigers 48, Hurricanes 34, Kaniva, 30, Dimboola, 10

Women: Warracknabeal 46, Thunderbirds 36, Highlanders 34, Yanac 34, Kaniva 32, Dimboola 26

Juniors: Leopards 62, Kangaroos 60, Revengers 48, Raiders 44, Bandits 40, Warriors 22, Kookaburras 18, Black Hawks 16, Bombers 14

Round 18 Results

Men: Tigers 4 d Kaniva 2. Goals, Tigers, C. Barber 2, S. Farmers 1, M. Kube 1, Kaniva, C. Beattie, B. Jewell. Best, Tigers, K. Croot, H. Findley, C. Barber, Kaniva, L. Fisher, C. Beattie, A. King.

Hoops 4 d Dimboola 1. Goals, Hoops, S. Langman, B. Schilling, C. Sutton, A. Bardell, Dimboola, N. Jorgensen. Best, Hoops, N. Kent, A. Bardell, B. Schilling, Dimboola, B. Jorgensen, C. Searle, J. Terry.

Women: Highlanders 3 d Thunderbirds 0. Goals, Highlanders, V. Forrest, F. Lehman, L. Schilling. Best, Highlanders, L. Schilling, R. Creek, K. Ferrier, Thunderbirds, L. Wallis, B. McLeod, G. McLeod.

Kaniva 1 d Yanac 0. Goals, Kaniva, S. Williams. Best, Kaniva, M. Kedwall, H. Bedford, R. Sanders, Yanac, J. Kube, J. Wheaton, S. Coughlan.

Warracknabeal 4 d Dimboola 2. Goals, Warracknabeal, K. Nicholson, S. Puls, A. Argent, J. Gauke, Dimboola, V. Smithyman, E. Klinge. Best, Warracknabeal, A. Argent, J. Lawson, C. Noone, Dimboola, N. Kuhnell, V. Smithyman, E. Klinge.

Juniors: Leopards 8 d Bombers 0. Goals, Leopards, C. Morais 2, O. Stephen 2, C. Jones 2, A. Creek, S. Wallis. Best, Leopards, T. Cook, C. Jones, J. Newcombe, Bombers, M. Tepper, J. Sykes-Atkins, K. Trounce.

Raiders 3 d Black Hawks 1. Goals, Raiders, Braden Clarke 2, J. Williams, Black Hawks, A. Valentine. Best, Raiders, K. Meyer, C. McDonald, L. Wallis, Black Hawks, A. Valentine, E. Hayden, Q. Barrents.

Revengers 13 d Kookaburras 0. Goals, Revengers, E. Aitken 3, N. Langman 2, J. McPherson 2, M. Hewitt, M. Moloney, J. Williamson, E. Schilling, C. Schilling. L. Noone. Best, Revengers, E. Aitken, N. Langman, J. Williamson, Kookaburras, C. Elsom, J. Keating, K. Florinell.

Warriors 2 drew Bandits 2. Goals, Warriors, A. Riechenbach, B. Dickinson, Bandits, J. Bendall, L. Bendall. Best, Warriors, A. Wheaton, A. Webb, E. Blackwood, Bandits, J. Bendall, L. Bendall, B. Smith.

Round 18 Review

Final four positions were decided on Saturday in Warracknabeal in warm conditions.

Kaniva Raiders secured forth place with a strong performance against the Horsham Black Hawks. The best Raiders were Claire McDonald and Kendal Meyer, with Braden Clark scoring 2 goals. The highlight for the Black Hawks was a great solo goal to Andrew Valentine.

The Raiders victory meant the Nhill Bandits could not make the finals regardless of the result against the Warriors. The Bandits have performed well all season, and it is a shame they had to miss out on finals action. Jarryd Bendall controlled things in the middle as usual and was ably supported by sister Lauren and Ben Smith. The Warriors perhaps played their best game of the season drawing 2 all with the Bandits. Erin Blackwood again very solid in defence. While Alex Wheaton provide attacking and Adam

Horsham Highlanders also secured a finals birth with a convincing victory over second placed Nhill Thunderbirds. The Highlanders running and long passing game was too hot for the Thunderbirds, winning 3 nil.

Kaniva women’s only hope of making the finals was a Highlander loss. Knowing they couldn’t make the finals, Kaniva were very determined to end the season on a high note. Kaniva dominated the first half of their clash against Yanac with accurate passing to forwards from the half backs, resulting in many shots at goal. The second half was more even, but it was Kaniva’s Sharon Williams who scored the only goal from a loose Yanac pass.
Warracknabeal beat Dimboola women 4-2 in the other women’s match to finish the year on top of the ladder.

In the men the Yanac Tigers were impressive coming back from a 2 nil deficit to beat Kaniva 4-2. While the Hoops had too much fire power for Dimboola winning 4-1 and finished the year on top of the ladder.