The Weekly Advertiser Horsham
Time is critical
With four rounds of Wimmera Hockey Association’s regular season remaining, several teams are running out of time to stake their claim on a place in the finals.
In open competition, Yanac Tigers and Warrack Hoops have all but confirmed their places in the finals. But this will not detract from the intensity when they meet each other in the opening game at Warracknabeal’s Anzac Park on Saturday.
The last time they met, the Tigers enjoyed a four-goal win in one of the most significant margins between these teams in recent seasons.
The Hoops will be determined to put in a good showing against a team they will almost certainly meet in the finals.
The other two teams in the top four meet in the following game, where both Nhill Rangers and Dimboola Burras need a win if they are to stay among the leaders.
Nhill won the only other encounter so far this season, but Dimboola can match the Rangers if it can put its best team on the field.
A win in this game should almost be enough to claim a spot in the finals, but the loser will be left fighting for fourth place with two other teams.
With a win in the next game, Horsham Hurricanes could rise into the top four for the first time this season, but a loss will make it very hard for them to qualify for the finals.
A Kaniva Cobras win will keep their quest for a finals berth alive for another week, but a loss will almost certainly extinguish their chances.
If the form line so far this season continues, the top four in the women’s competition is unlikely to change before the finals.
Winless Dimboola Roos face a must-win game against Nhill Thunderbirds this week if they are to have any chance of challenging for fourth place.
Despite a draw last weekend, the Nhill team is in good enough form to get the win and keep its dream of a top-two finish alive.
Fourth-placed Horsham Jets put in a tenacious fight against Nhill on Saturday and came away with a draw, and they would fancy themselves against a Kaniva team that fought out a challenging one-goal loss to Yanac.
A Kaniva win will keep it in second place, and a Jets’ victory will confirm their hold on fourth place.
Despite having the bye, Yanac has already claimed top spot on the ladder.
Although each of the two under-16 games will see a top-two team playing a bottom-two team, neither game is a certainty.
Undefeated Yanac Warriors go into their game as favourites, but Warrack Revengers on their home ground, and with the incentive of strengthening their hold on fourth place with a win, will not be an easy assignment.
Kainva Raiders must get some points from their game against Horsham Bombers if they are to remain in the race for the finals.
Results – Open: Horsham Hurricanes 5 (goals, W. Gulline 2, B. Woodhart, J. Horsfall, T. Leffler; best, W. Gulline, T. Leffler, P. Mackereth) d Nhill Rangers 3 (H. Pearse, R. Reichelt, D. Schwarz; B. Miller, H. Pearse, L. Marra), Yanac Tigers 1 (J. Cramer; B. Alexander, J. Cramer, J. Honeyman) d Kaniva Cobras 0 (A. Wallis, C. Beattie, B. Lovett), Warrack Hoops 5 (F. Eilola 2, L. Klemm, H. Wagenknecht, S. Schultz; C. Bardell, J. Smith, F. Eilola) d Dimboola Burras 0 (B. Tischler, T. Jorgensen, C. Hadzig). Women: Yanac Women 1 (C. Beattie; S. Hedt, E. Alexander, S. Croot, L. Bone) d Kaniva Women 0 (O. Williams, S. Williams, C. Shurdington, S. Braisby), Horsham Jets 4 (A. Morrow 2, M. Guest, S. Puls; L. Schilling, A. Morrow, S. O’connor) drew with Nhill Thunderbirds 4 (E. Murden 2, R. Clark, K. Farquharson; J. Hauselberger, E. Murden, G. Mcleod, K. Clark). Under-16s: Yanac Warriors 5 (Archie Zanker 2, R. Croot 2, C. Zanker; R. Croot, A. Farmers, Archie Zanker) d Kaniva Raiders 0 (C. White, Z. Stimson, B. Williams), Horsham Bombers 3 (T. Batchelor, A. Heal, H. Toet; K. Schwarz, T. Batchelor, H. Toet) drew with Nhill Leopards 3 (I. Deckert 2, D. Clark; K. Clark, I. Deckert, D. Clark).