Some of the best hockey players from the Wimmera competed in the Victorian Senior Country Championship at the weekend, registering some mixed results.
Wimmera finished third in the B1 Division at Geelong against some strong opponents. Their first game on Saturday was against Maryborough, and after a scoreless first half Wimmera gained the lead late, holding on for a narrow win.
In the second game Peninsula scored first, although a goal early in second half kept the Wimmera in it. Peninsula regained the lead soon after, and while Wimmera earned a late penalty corner they were unable to convert for a last-gasp draw.
Against West Gippsland, the deadlock of another scoreless first half was broken with two minutes of play remaining by their opponents. But Wimmera went straight into attack and converted a penalty corner to tie the scores.
Victory over North Central in the last preliminary came from a field goal and a converted penalty corner. West Gippsland successfully held out Wimmera after scoring first in the semi-final, earning a place in the final and leaving Wimmera in third.
The Open team had a tough weekend in Division 2, but still held their own against some quality opposition at the Hawthorn Hockey Centre.
A four-goal loss to Warrnambool opened the campaign, with Darius Cosgrave scoring the team’s only goal. This was followed by a scoreless draw with East Gippsland.
Against the North Central, the eastern neighbour won bragging rights, 4-2. The preliminary rounds came to an end with a loss to West Gippsland.
Fifth after preliminary rounds, the Wimmera team did not qualify for the semi-finals but met the lowest-placed team Division 1 team, Sunraysia, in a playoff game. This game ended in a defeat, although the team scored three times.
Wimmera 1 (Amy Welsh) def Maryborough 0; Wimmera 1 (Amy Welsh) lost to Peninsula Lynx 2; Wimmera 1 (Amy Welsh) drew with West Gippsland 1; Wimmera 2 (Donna Rigby, Alysha Genn) def North Central 0.
Semi-Final: Wimmera 0 lost to West Gippsland 1.
Preliminaries: Wimmera 1 (Darius Cosgrave) lost to Warrnambool 5; Wimmera 0 drew with East Gippsland 0; Wimmera 2 (Marcus Williamson, Phil Duart) lost to North Central 4; Wimmera 0 lost to West Gippsland 4.
Playoff: Wimmera 3 lost to Sunraysia 8 (Darius Cosgrave, Will Gulline, Jordan Williamson).