Play­ers shine at coun­try champs

Narrogin Observer - - Sport - Michael Traill

De­spite not claim­ing a Gold Medal for WA Coun­try at this year’s Aus­tralian Coun­try Cham­pi­onship, in ei­ther divi­sion, the UGSHA came home win­ners.

Liam Sweeney has been se­lected to play in the Aus­tralian un­der-21 side at the Hawkes Bay Hockey Fes­ti­val in New Zealand and the Ocea­nia Pa­cific Cup in Fiji — both held in De­cem­ber.

Re­gan Blyth was WA’s high­est scorer and sec­ond over­all for the tour­na­ment, con­vert­ing nine goals in six matches.

The men’s side claimed the bronze medal, de­feat­ing the Aus­tralian De­fence Force 5-1 in the third place play-off. They lost their first three matches in the pool round, first against sil­ver medal­lists Queens­land 4-2, then even­tual win­ners NSW 6-2 and the ADF 3-2.

WA man­aged to just make it through to the third place play-off — de­feat­ing South Aus­tralia 5-2 and Vic­to­ria 3-2 in their fi­nal two rounds. Un­for­tu­nately, the WA women’s side couldn’t repli­cate the men’s suc­cess.

They fin­ished fifth over­all, draw­ing with the ADF 1-1, be­fore de­feat­ing Vic­to­ria in a clas­si­fi­ca­tion match 1-0.

Queens­land took home gold after de­feat­ing NSW 1-0 in the fi­nal, while ADF won their match against South Aus­tralia to claim bronze.

How­ever, three fe­male UGSHA play­ers have also been se­lected in the Aus­tralia Coun­try un­der-21 side.

Zali Spencer, Philippa Bairstow and Chloe Blight will travel to New Zealand and Fiji with the side in De­cem­ber.

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