The latest round of the Wimmera Hockey Association season reminded everyone of what it is like to play a winter sport, with cold conditions experienced at Yanac and Nhill.
A feature of this round was two competition games under lights at Davis Park in Nhill for only the second time. This was initiated by the Nhill and District Sporting Club hockey division last season as an opportunity to showcase their sport in front of the other winter sports divisions of their club.
The Warrack Hoops have returned to second place on the ladder after winning an intense encounter with the Kaniva Cobras on a slow and heavy ground at Yanac.
Jordan Williamson opened the scoring for the victors with a goal 12 minutes into the game, and it took a further 30 minutes of hard play before Clint Beattie replied for the Cobras five minutes after half-time to maintain the pressure. Williamson found the goals again late in the second half to break the deadlock, and although the Cobras peppered the goals in the dying minutes of the game, the Hoops’ defence remained strong.
The signs looked ominous for the Horsham Hurricanes after they conceded five goals by half-time to a slick Yanac Tigers’ outfit.
But they rallied after the break and a much improved defence only let one more goal through. Lewis Wheaton scored twice for the Tigers and was named among his team’s best.
At Davis Park, a strong Nhill Rangers’ defence kept them in the game in the face of regular attacking moves by the higher ranked Dimboola Burras.
After the break, the Burras kept up the pressure but were equally matched by the Rangers’ backline and the game ended in a scoreless draw. The Burras will need at least one win from their remaining two games to make finals.
Scoring opportunities were created at both ends of the field in the game between Kaniva and Warracknabeal, but good defence denied any work for the scorekeepers in the first half. The pressure continued after half-time until, with just seven minutes of play remaining, Lisa Stimson managed to breach the Warrack defence and earned a one-goal win for Kaniva.
Yanac Women started well in their game by earning a number of early short corners which they were unable to convert, but at the other end of the field the Horsham Jets’ forwards responded with three goals before half-time. A fourth goal later in the game sealed a Jets’ win.
In the first of the games under lights at Davis Park, a strong Thunderbirds’ defence led by best on ground Jeanette McLeod stopped many shots at goal.
But they could not hold off the persistent attack from the Dimboola Roos forever and ultimately yielded five goals, with Kelly Smithyman and Adina King scoring two each and Vicki Smithyman scoring the fifth.