Men take sil­ver against NSW at in­door champs

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Residential - Mitchell East­man

WA fin­ished sec­ond at the 2014 Aus­tralian Men Open In­door Cham­pi­onships which took place at the Na­tional Hockey Cen­tre in Can­berra.

WA started the tour­na­ment well with wins against Tas­ma­nia and Queens­land. Two de­feats in a row against New South Wales and ACT meant they needed to win the last pool game against Vic­to­ria to qual­ify for the fi­nals. A pul­sat­ing 6-5 win against Vic­to­ria se­cured their place in the top four.

Fea­tur­ing the likes of Kook­abur­ras striker Glenn Turner, ACT were go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult op­po­nent to beat in the semi­fi­nals. Some tight de­fen­sive work by WA thwarted ACT at­tack­ing op­tions, re­sult­ing in a 1-1 draw. Aus­tralian men’s in­door goal­keeper Ben Ren­nie stood up in the en­su­ing shoot-out, with WA go­ing on to win 3-2.

New South Wales, along with ACT are the two pow­er­houses of in­door hockey, hav­ing not lost a sin­gle game in the pool stages of the tour­na­ment. A Nigel Croke strike was the only thing sep­a­rat­ing New South Wales and WA at the half-time break of the fi­nal.

New South Wales were clin­i­cal in the sec­ond half, with lead­ing goal scorer Jack Hayes net­ting a hat trick within six min­utes to take his tour­na­ment tally to 10. In the end, WA had to set­tle for sil­ver.

The WA Women’s Open team fin­ished fifth at the 2014 Aus­tralian Women Open In­door Cham­pi­onships. Losses against ACT, Vic­to­ria and Queens­land, cou­pled with draws against SA and NSW, meant they needed a win against Tas­ma­nia in the fi­nal game to avoid fin­ish­ing sev­enth.

Goals to Ni­cole Ser­afini and Jarni McGuire se­cured their first win of the tour­na­ment. They then went on to beat South Aus­tralia 3-2 in the play-off match. New South Wales de­feated Vic­to­ria 5-3 in the fi­nal to do ‘the dou­ble’.

The U21 Aus­tralian In­door Cham­pi­onships con­cluded with the men’s team win­ning sil­ver and the women bronze.

WA U21 Men fin­ished the pool stages in sec­ond place, only los­ing once to even­tual win­ners NSW. A 1-0 win against Queens­land booked their place in the fi­nal, but they were un­able to get over the line against NSW, go­ing on to lose 4-1.

Hav­ing drawn their pool game against Queens­land, WA’s U21 Women’s team man­aged to get the bet­ter of Queens­land in the third-place play-off game. Two goals in the first five min­utes from Natasha Hyde and Jessica Bestall helped WA win bronze.

The WA U15 In­door State team will play their Aus­tralian In­door Cham­pi­onships at Monash Univer­sity in Mel­bourne from Jan­uary 10-13 next year, fol­lowed by the Aus­tralian U18 In­door Cham­pi­onships from Jan­uary 15-18.

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