Car­ni­val is a firm favourite with ju­niors

South Western Times - - Sport - Ge­orge Good­win

Nearly 1800 su­per keen young hockey ath­letes from around the State con­verged on Bun­bury over the long week­end for the big­gest car­ni­val of its kind in Aus­tralia.

The South West Smarter than Smok­ing Ju­nior Hockey Car­ni­val was com­prised of 138 teams with 470 games played out over 14 grass and 2 syn­thetic fields in three days.

The car­ni­val is a favourite among play­ers and sup­port­ers for its em­pha­sis on par­tic­i­pa­tion, pro­vid­ing a cham­pi­onship grade with a sought after Premier’s Flag to be won as well as a Car­ni­val Grade for ju­nior play­ers.

With around eight games per team, the young play­ers’ level of skill no­tice­ably in­creased with that fes­ti­val at­mo­sphere that Bun­bury Hockey has worked hard to cre­ate over many years around the grounds which keeps play­ers and fam­i­lies com­ing back ev­ery year.

Play­ers from lo­cal clubs joined as one to en­sure a strong Bun­bury con­tin­gent of 12 teams with a cham­pi­onship side in ev­ery divi­sion and six car­ni­val teams.

About a dozen young­sters vol­un­teered at the drink and ice cream vans and fundraised with raf­fles and had to op­por­tu­nity to dis­play their skills at the highly an­tic­i­pated night games where many sup­port­ers so­cialised, en­joy­ing the coun­try hockey at­mo­sphere.

Bun­bury’s 5/6 Cham­pi­onship Girls and 9/10 Cham­pi­onship Boys both made it through to their grand fi­nals.

The en­thu­si­as­tic 5/6 Bun­bury girls teams were a favourite among the lo­cal sup­port­ers com­ing up against a skilful Perth team, WASPS, in the fi­nal putting on a grand fi­nal to be proud of.

The game ended in a 1-all draw with WASPS awarded the Gold Medal as the higher fin­isher on the lad­der and Bun­bury tak­ing home the sil­ver.

Bun­bury 9/10 boys had a solid line-up go­ing up against an ex­pe­ri­enced UWA in a tightly fought match that fin­ished in a score­less draw, go­ing straight into penalty strokes.

Both teams pro­vided their five play­ers each and were 3-3 after the first round. Sud­den death con­tin­ued and the crowd cheered and sup­ported both teams as they bat­tled out with UWA fi­nally com­ing out on top 7-6.

Pic­ture: Tracey El­ph­ick

Kol­bee Dock­ing and Ella Smith were part of the Bun­bury Hockey As­so­ci­a­tion’s 5/6 girls cham­pi­onship team which won a sil­ver medal.

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