WA teams shine in Vic­to­ria


Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Residential -

LO­CAL hockey play­ers were among the WA teams that fin­ished first and sec­ond re­spec­tively at the U15 Girls and Boys Aus­tralian In­door Cham­pi­onships at Monash Univer­sity in Vic­to­ria.

Karri Som­merville and Zeta Or­rman, of Kens­ing­ton, and Re­nee Rock­liff, of Vic­to­ria Park, were mem­bers of the gold medal­win­ning girls’ team, while Lach­lan Samp­son, of Man­ning, was a mem­ber of the boys’ sil­ver medal team.

Som­merville led the goal-scor­ing charts for WA, chalk­ing up a to­tal of nine goals for the tour­na­ment. Named as cap­tain for the fi­nal, the clin­i­cal Somerville brought up her hat­trick in the fi­nal minute of the match, after Re­nee Rock­liff had lev­elled the game mo­ments ear­lier to win gold, also win­ning ‘Player of the Tour­na­ment’ for the U15 Girls.

After a 2-1 win against Vic­to­ria in the semis, the girls’ team was 3-1 down at half­time in the grand fi­nal. The girls showed great team spirit to over­turn the two-goal deficit. Two goals in the fi­nal minute en­abled WA to clinch the ti­tle in a stun­ning spec­ta­cle.

Head coach Erin Judd was ec­static with the team’s per­for­mance, prais­ing the ef­forts of the en­tire group through­out the cham­pi­onship.

“We’re ab­so­lutely stoked with the re­sult, it was a fan­tas­tic ef­fort,” she said.

“The team gelled well to­gether; they had no prob­lem know­ing where each other would be on the field.

“The girls had a cou­ple of goals to fo­cus on from the start of the tour­na­ment. One of them was to be com­pet­i­tive in each game.

“In three of the games we were down at half-time, but they fought back in each of those games and ended up win­ning ev­ery one of them. The team knew how to com- pete and had a never-give-up at­ti­tude.

“We were 3-1 down at half-time (in the fi­nal) but the girls were re­minded that you never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen in a fi­nal and to their credit they man­aged to put in goal after goal to fight back and win.”

The U15 Boys In­door team came close to mak­ing it a dou­ble swoop for WA, also reach­ing the fi­nal of the Aus­tralian In­door Cham­pi­onships.

They had looked in good form ear­lier in the day, se­cur­ing their ticket to the fi­nal with a 7-3 win against Queens­land. Un­for­tu­nately, de­spite their best ef­fort, Vic­to­ria’s strong first half per­for­mance meant WA had to set­tle for sec­ond.

Coach David Og­den said he was pleased with the boys’ ef­fort and con­tin­ual im­prove­ments through­out the tour­na­ment.

“The group ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions,” he said.

“The majority of the team had not par­tic­i­pated in a Na­tional In­door tour­na­ment be­fore and to get that far and com­pete ag­gres­sively in the way they did, it was a great ef­fort from the guys and they all worked well to­gether.

“The tour­na­ment was huge in terms of their de­vel­op­ment as In­door hockey play­ers. We started well and con­tin­ued to im­prove. There was a bit of a down patch in the first Queens­land game, but we picked it up after that to reach the fi­nals and per­formed ad­mirably in the fi­nal.

“Although it was a heart­break­ing loss in the fi­nal, it will set them up for the rest of their hockey ca­reers and will no doubt mo­ti­vate them to con­tinue to play at a high stan­dard”.

Mar­shall Puzey, of Halls Head, picked up the ‘Player of the Tour­na­ment’ award for the boys com­pe­ti­tion.

“Mar­shall played a piv­otal role for us in set­ting up our at­tacks and cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties – but I think his per­for­mances were sup­ported by the en­tire team around him,” Og­den said.

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