|After a break from local competition last weekend for the Senior Country Championships, the Wimmera Hockey association season resumed with a round split between the Kaniva and Dimboola venues, and with all results reflecting ladder positions, the top teams are beginning to draw away from their lower ranked opponents.
Despite this, much interest remains in the battle for the lower places in the top four over all divisions with all teams still in contention.
With the top three teams all recording victories there were no changes in ladder positions, with the Tigers and Hoops comfortably in the top two places, followed the Kaniva Cobras in third. The Horsham Hurricanes retain hold fourth place despite a loss on the weekend, but only by two points from the Dimboola Burras. The Nhill Rangers are a further game behind but still in the mix for a finals berth.
At Kaniva the difference between the Yanac Tigers and the Dimboola Burras after an even first half was a single Brad Alexander goal from a converted short corner twenty minutes into the game.
Although the Tigers dominated the general play after the break they were only able to add one more goal, another short corner conversion this time by Seth Croot, to give an end result of a two goal win. This extends the Tigers’ current unbeaten run to eleven games, stretching back to their last defeat in round 13 last year, and keeps the Burras outside the top four.
Simon Farmers was the best player for Yanac and full back Brett Tischler played well for Dimboola.
The winless Nhill Rangers went into the half time break of their game against the Kaniva Cobras in the unfamiliar position of a one goal lead, but three goals to their opponent in the second half has left the Rangers still looking for their first victory for 2017.
The win keeps the third placed Cobras comfortably ahead of the Horsham Hurricanes, but they also remain two games behind second place.
Aaron Huttig scored the goal for the Rangers, his first for the team in nearly two seasons, and Luke Shalders scored two and Aaron Feder one for the Cobras.
The leading player for Kaniva was Lachie Mills and Blake Miller was named best for Nhill.
On the turf at Dimboola the Warrack Hoops controlled their game from the start but very strong defence by the Horsham Hurricanes restricted them to only one goal by half time.
Two more goals in the second half sealed the game for the Hoops but the Hurricanes’ defence held up well to break up the Hoops’ free flowing forward game and prevent them scoring more.
Despite failing to convert a penalty stroke, Jordan Williamson led the scoring with two goals and centre half back Todd Krahe scored the other.
Full backs Jack Dean (Hoops) and Tim Davey (Hurricanes) were judged as their teams’ best players.
Whilst the Dimboola Roos and the Horsham Jets are setting the pace in the Women’s competition, the four remaining teams are staging a great battle to fill the next two places on the ladder, with Kaniva and Yanac currently holding those positions but will have to play at their best for the remainder of the season to stay there.
The Kaniva Women remain in touch with the top two despite a tight one all draw with the Nhill Thunderbirds. Lisa Stimson and Kellie Farquharson scored the only goals for their respective teams in the first half of the game, with strong defence preventing any scoring after half time.
Olivia Williams, Rachel Clark and Cally Shurdington all played well for Kaniva and Ellie Murden, Leah Hawker and Farquharson stood out for the Thunderbirds.
The Horsham Jets had considerably more play than their opponents, the Warrack Women, but strong defence restricted the second placed Jets to only two goals, although this was enough for them to remain only one win behind the ladder leading Dimboola Roos. Ashlyn Allen and Ellie Morrow scored one goal each.
Launa Schilling controlled the game from the half back line for the Jets, with help from Sophie Robinson and Ellie O’Connor and Kelly Krahe, Nakita Langman (pictured above) and Deb Templeton played well for Warracknabeal.
The third Women’s march involved the grand finalists from last season, and the result was similar to the 2016 season decider.
Neither team was able to gain control of the game during an even first half although both teams created chances.
At the midpoint of the second half, the Roos’ captain Elizabeth Klinge started the scoring with a strong hit from the top of her attacking circle. This was followed minutes later by a confident solo run by her sister Jennifer who was able to elude several Yanac defenders to also score.
Adina King scored the Roos’ third goal within the last minute of the game.
The Klinge sisters were joined by full back Cara Hadzig as the best for Dimboola and Louise Bone, Mikayla Farmers and defenders Sophie Pipkorn and Kaitlyn Miller were named best for Yanac.
The top three teams in the Under 16 competition all recorded comfortable victories, increasing the gap between them and the lower three teams.
The Leopards remain on top after a three goals to one win over the Kaniva Raiders and they are closely followed in second place by the Warrack Revengers who scored twice in their win over the Horsham Bombers.
The Dimboola Kangaroos are the third of the leading teams after overcoming the Yanac Warriors by four goals to one.
The Leopards’ goals were scored by Sharma Delaney, Blake Miller and Jason Reichelt and these three players, along with Emily Koop, were nominated as the best players. Olivia Williams and goal scorer Luke Shalders played well for Kaniva as did Tyson Mitchell and Max Goodwin.
Full back Lachie Klemm was the best on the ground for the Revengers along with the goal scorers Oskar Bennett and Sandon Schultz and the better players for Horsham were Tom Roberts, Cade Dodson and Josh Schwarz.
Both Daniel Danisch and Bradley Walker are enjoying productive seasons for the Kangaroos, scoring two goals each but Tom Krelle was nominated as the team’s best player.
As indication of the time that the ball spend in the Warriors’ defensive half of the field was that half back Mikayla Famers added to her list of best on ground performances this season, but she received considerable support from full backs Sophie Pipkorn and Hannah Honeyman
Over 50 Under 12 players took to the field in the three games played on the weekend, with the Kaniva Rampagers, Yanac Lowan Stars and Horsham Blackhawks all recording wins.
Round Eight Preview
The next round of the competition will be played at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre this weekend with two games on Friday evening and the remining games on Saturday.
The feature game of the round will be the always entertaining clash between long-time rivals the Yanac Tigers and Warrack Hoops.
This is the same match up as the last five grand finals in the Open division and these two teams always put on a skilful display of hockey, equal in standard to any top country hockey game in the state.
Ladder positions suggest that the Tigers will continue their undefeated run this season, but the Hoops have proven in the past that they are the most likely team to defeat them and could well do so on Saturday evening.
The Dimboola Burras will be determined to regain a place in the Open competition top four and to do so they will need to defeat teams such as the Kaniva Cobras that they meet on Friday evening.
The Kaniva Women start the round in a clash with the top placed Dimboola Roos. They have nothing to lose and at their best could give the reigning premiers a scare.
Once again the Under 16 games all feature a top three team taking on a bottom three team so the results should be predictable, with the clash between the Dimboola Kangaroos and Kaniva Raiders on Saturday morning likely to be the closest of the three games. In the other games, the Nhill Leopards will take on the Horsham Bombers and the Warrack Revengers meet the Yanac Warriors.
The remaining two Women’s division games also look to be predictable, but the higher placed Horsham Jets and Yanac Women will still have to play well to earn victories over the Nhill Thunderbirds and Warrack Women respectively.
In the last Open division game, the Horsham Hurricanes have the opportunity to consolidate their position in the top four if they can record a win, but this game is also be the ideal opportunity for the Nhill Rangers to record their first win and will be playing hard to achieve this.
Round Eight Fixture - Saturday 24th June
- at the Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre
7.00 pm - Women - Dimboola Roos v. Kaniva Women
8.30 pm - Open - Dimboola Burras v. Kaniva Cobras
9.30 am - Under 16 - Horsham Bombers v. Nhill Leopards
11.00 am - Under 16 - Dimboola Kangaroos v. Kaniva Raiders
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Dimboola Kookaburras v. Kaniva Rampagers
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Horsham Blackhawks v. Nhill Bandits
12.30 pm - Under 12 - Warracknabeal v. Yanac Lowan Stars
1.30 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v. Nhill Thunderbirds
3.00 pm - Under 16 - Warrack Revengers v. Yanac Warriors
4.30 pm - Open - Horsham Hurricanes v. Nhill Rangers
6.00 pm - Open - Warrack Hoops v. Yanac Tigers
7.30 pm - Women - Warrack Women v. Yanac Women
Round Seven Results
Yanac Tigers 2 (Goals - B Alexander, S Croot; Best - S Farmers, T Alexander, J Magrath) defeated Dimboola Burras 0 (Best - B Tischler, J Williams, J Lovett)
Kaniva Cobras 3 (Goals - L Shalders 2, A Feder; Best - L Mills, L Clark, J Bedford) defeated Nhill angers 1 (Goal - A Huttig; Best - B Miller, L Wilde, Mont Miller)
Warrack Hoops 3 (Goals - J Williamson 2, T Krahe; Best - J Dean, M Williamson, S Schultz, E Schilling) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 0 (Best - T Davey, P Mackereth, S Hoffman, S Hallett)
| || Pts || GD |
| Yanac Tigers || 28 || 19 |
| Warrack Hoops || 24 || 18 |
| Kaniva Cobras || 16 || 3 |
| Horsham Hurricanes || 8 || -9 |
| Dimboola Burras || 6 || -10 |
| Nhill Rangers || 2 || -21 |
Nhill Thunderbirds 1 (Goal - K Farquharson; Best - E Murden, L Hawker, K Farqhuarson) drew with Kaniva Women 1 (Goal - L Stimson; Best - O Williams, R Clark, C Shurdington)
Horsham Jets 2 (Goals - A Allen, E Morrow; Best - L Schilling, S Robinson, E O’Connor) defeated Warrack Women 0 (Best - K Krahe, N Langman, D Templeton)
Dimboola Roos 3 (Goals - E Klinge, J Klinge, A King; Best - E Klinge, J Klinge, C Hadzig) defeated Yanac Women 0 (Best - L Bone, M Farmers, S Pipkorn, K Miller
| || Pts || GD |
| Dimboola Roos || 24 || 13 |
| Horsham Jets || 20 || 11 |
| Kaniva Women || 16 || 0 |
| Yanac Women || 12 || -4 |
| Nhill Thunderbirds || 10 || -1 |
| Warrack Women || 2 || -19|
Nhill Leopards 3 (Goals - S Delaney, B Miller, J Reichelt; Best - S Delaney, B Miller, E Koop, J Reichelt) defeated Kaniva Raiders 1 (Goal - L Shalders; Best - O Williams, L Shalders, M Goodwin, T Mitchell)
Dimboola Kangaroos 4 (Goals - D Danisch 2, B Walker 2; Best - T Krelle, D Danisch, B Walker) defeated Yanac Warriors 1 (Goal - C Zanker; Best - M Farmers, H Honeyman, S Pipkorn)
Warrack Revengers 2 (Goals - S Schultz, O Bennett; Best - L Klemm, O Bennett, S Schultz) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - T Roberts, C Dodson, J Schwarz)
| || Pts || GD |
| Nhill Leopards || 24 || 21 |
| Warrack Revengers || 22 || 15 |
| Dimboola Kangaroos || 18 || 9 |
| Kaniva Raiders || 12 || -8 |
| Yanac Warriors || 4 || -16 |
| Horsham Bombers || 4 || -21|
Kaniva Rampagers 7 (Gaols - C White 3, K Jewell 2, K Clark, D Clark; Best - L Williams) defeated Nhill Bandits 0 (Best - H Cannell)
Yanac Lowan Stars 6 (Goals - A Farmers 2, C Zanker 2, A Zanker, H Pedie) defeated Dimboola Kookaburras 0
Horsham Blackhawks 3 (Goals - O Nuske 2, T Batchelor) defeated Warracknabeal 1 (Goal - M Butcher)
| || Pts || GD|
| Yanac Lowan Stars || 22 || 14|
| Horsham Blackhawks || 22 || 3|
| Kaniva Rampagers || 16 || 9|
| Dimboola Kookaburras || 12 || 7|
| Nhill Bandits || 12 || -11|
| Warracnabeal || 0 || -22|