Hockey tightens in finals preparations
Wimmera Hockey Association teams take the field for round-12 games at Nhill’s Davis Park on Saturday, with results of most games influencing which teams will progress to the finals.
With some teams still to confirm their place in finals, four of six matches across Open and Women’s division last week were ties, highlighting how even the teams fighting for these positions are.
This weekend, the biggest game for the round in Open competition will be a blockbuster featuring Dimboola Burras and Warracknabeal Hoops.
A clear result will possibly determine which team will finish in second place on the ladder and earn the valuable double chance in the finals.
The Hoops sit one win ahead of the Burras, but still have to face undefeated Yanac again, so a Hoops win would have them draw two games ahead, which might be enough to stay in second place.
In contrast, a Burras win would bring these teams level on points.
Because they have the easier run to the end of the season the Burras would be in a prime position to snatch second place on the ladder by the end of the regular season.
The winner of a game between Kaniva Cobras and Nhill Rangers will end
the round in the top four, which could prove significant.
Both have to play all three teams above them again before the finals.
Horsham Hurricanes, meanwhile, face the daunting task of needing to be the first team this season to beat Yanac Tigers to remain in the hunt for a place in the finals.
A Tigers victory will ensure they again finish as minor premiers and will also make it difficult for Hurricanes to climb into fourth place.
The feature game in Women’s division will be between Nhill Thunderbirds and Kaniva.
A win for the former will firm its grip on third place on the ladder and a win for the latter would all but ensure it will make the finals.
Warracknabeal, which can no longer qualify for the finals, will have nothing to lose when it takes on Dimboola Roos.
The Roos have more at stake if they wish to remain in the hunt to finish on top of the ladder, making this a danger game.
Horsham Jets must score an unlikely win in their game against dominant Yanac if they are to remain a chance to make the top four, and Yanac needs to win to stay ahead of the Roos.
The results of all three under-16 games will have a profound influence on this division’s ladder.
Horsham Bombers take on the undefeated Yanac Warriors in a game they must win if they are to have a chance of making the finals.
After seeing sixth-placed Dimboola Kangaroos push the reigning premiers last weekend, they will go into the game with confidence.
Warrack Revengers need the win to confirm a place in the finals and will not want to take the Kangaroos lightly.
Kaniva Raiders need a win over Nhill Leopards to stay in second place on the ladder, while the Nhill team needs the points to hold fourth place.
Results – Open: Kaniva Cobras 2 (goals, L. Mills, C. Beattie; best, D. Cole, L. Mills, C. Beattie) drew with Horsham Hurricanes 2 (W. Gulline 2; S. Hoffman, W. Gulline, S. Trigg); Nhill Rangers 1 (J. Reichelt; S. Bone, J. Reichelt, B. Miller) drew with Warrack Hoops 1 (F. Eilola; J. Williamson, M. Williamson, E. Schilling); Yanac Tigers 2 (N. Alexander, T. Alexander; J. Honeyman, A. Magrath, M. Higgins) d Dimboola Burras 0 (T. Dent, D. Danisch, J. Lovett). Women: Kaniva 0 (L. Stimson, H. White, J. Wallis) drew with Horsham Jets 0 (R. Creek, L. Schilling, C. Lawson); Nhill Thunderbirds 2 (E. Murden, E. Koop; E. Murden, K. Farquharson, C. Kessler) d Warracknabeal 0 (T. Bull, R. Mcnamara, F. Eilola); Yanac 1 (N. Penhall; S. Alexander, S. Pipkorn, E. Alexander) drew with Dimboola Roos 1 (A. King; J. Hauselberger, B. Mcmaster, E. Klinge). Under 16s: Kaniva Raiders 2 (M. Goodwin 2; M. Goodwin, E. Dixon, S. Braisby) d Horsham Bombers 0 (S. Foot, L. Simmons, B. Brooks); Nhill Leopards 2 (C. Koop, S. Delaney; L. Mcbride, K. Clark, K. Rowe) d Warrack Revengers 0 (B. Williamson, F. Eilola, N. Eilola); Yanac Warriors 6 (Archie Zanker, Caleb Zanker, N. Colbert, C. Dickinson, Chloe Zanker, C. Hassall; N. Colbert, M. Farmers, J. Croot, C. Hassall) d Dimboola Kangaroos 1 (S. Rayes; T. Krelle, B. Williamson, L. Krelle, W. Abbott).
IN DISPUTE: Dimboola Burra’s Jack Lovett, left and Steven Zanker of Yanac Tigers fight for control of the ball. Picture: SIMON KING