|The latest round of games saw the leading teams in all three Wimmera Hockey Association competitions either register victories or draws to enhance their prospects for the finals, whilst the middle of the table teams now have only three rounds left to confirm their place in the top four or make a late challenge for a move up to second place and the second chance in the finals.
The matchup between the second and third placed teams proved to be as entertaining as anticipated, with the Warrack Hoops coming from behind for the second week in a row to salvage a draw to maintain their one game buffer ahead of the Dimboola Burras.
A first half goal by the Burras put them ahead and turned all the pressure onto the Hoops, who responded with their efficient short passing game which eventually paid off when Marcus Williamson levelled the scores mid-way through the second half. Although both teams created many more forward attacking moves, both defences held strong and no further scoring occurred.
The Yanac Tigers continue to do just what is required to maintain their unbeaten record this season, which on this occasion resulted in a narrow win over the Horsham Hurricanes.
The Hurricanes are out of the race of the finals but showed that they have the potential to worry any other team in the competition when they held the reigning premiers scoreless for more than three quarters of the game.
Although much of the play was between the centre and the 23 metre line in Yanac’s half of the field, they found it difficult to penetrate the Hurricanes defence early in the game, but the constant pressure eventually paid off with two late goals.
The Nhill Rangers have all but confirmed a place in the finals for the first time since 2013 with a three goal win over the Kaniva Cobras.
The game with the most at stake in round twelve of the Women’s competition saw the third placed Nhill Thunderbirds play the fourth placed Kaniva, with both looking for a win to ensure a place in the finals.
One goal to the Thunderbirds mid-way through the first half proved to be the only score in an otherwise very even game with Kaniva keeping up the pressure right to the end.
This result ensures the Thunderbirds of a place in the semi finals, and although Kaniva remain in fourth place they will need at least one more win if they are to stay there.
The bottom two teams both put in a good effort when they took on the top two teams, but the results reflected ladder positions. Yanac scored twice in their game against the Horsham Jets, and the Dimboola Roos found the goals seven times against Warracknabeal.
The Kaniva Raiders and Nhill Leopards played out the match of he day in the Under 16 competition, which ended in a draw after a very even game, highlighting how close the teams in the middle of the ladder are.
The Dimboola Kangaroos nearly pulled off an upset when they went close to matching the Warrack Revengers before going down by just two goals.
Although the Revengers enjoyed more of the play in the first half, they were unable to score and the teams went into the half time break still locked together on the scoreboard.
The second half started with more of the same, and it was not until the 20 minute mark that the Revengers converted a penalty corner to move ahead, but the awarding of a penalty stroke ten minutes later gave the Kangaroos the chance of evening the scores.
The stroke was narrowly missed, and another successful penalty corner in the dying minutes of the game stretched Warracknabeal’s lead to two goals and they maintained their grip on third place on the ladder, and retained the chance to push for a top two finish.
The Yanac Warriors registered a comfortable win over the Horsham Bombers, who despite the loss are still in the running for the finals, if they can score a couple of wins from their last three games.
Round Thirteen Preview
A new era for hockey will begin in Kaniva on Saturday when they host games on their long-awaited second field for the first time, allowing the local club to host a full round of games for the first time in many years.
The feature game of this round will be the clash between first and second on the Open ladder when the Yanac Tigers and Warrack Hoops once again do battle. In an intense rivalry that has spanned the last three decades these two teams always put on an entertaining exhibition of hockey.
Although the result of this game means little to either combatants’ finals prospects, both will be looking to sharpen their game play in the lead up to another tilt at the premiership.
The Nhill Rangers will be aiming to firmly claim the fourth place in the finals, and in the process eliminate one of the challengers for that position when they take on the Horsham Hurricanes.
A win for the Nhill team will make it very difficult for either Kaniva or Horsham to overtake them, whilst a loss for the Hurricanes will formally end their chances of a semi final appearance this year.
If the Kaniva Cobras can christen their new ground with a win over the Dimboola Burras they can keep their diminishing finals chances alive for another week, and a victory for the Dimboola team will keep them within reach of a top two finish.
In the Women’s competition, all games feature a team from the top three on the ladder taking on a team from the bottom three, but the outcomes may not be as clear cut as this may suggest.
Although currently in fifth place, the Horsham Jets are still close enough to snatch a place in the finals if they can win a couple of close games. This week they take on the third placed Nhill Thunderbirds and must win this if they are to be any chance to continue.
Top ranked Yanac take on the improving Warrack Women, and although the latter team can no longer make it to the finals, they have nothing to lose and could cause an upset if any of their remaining opponents this year don’t take them seriously.
The result of the match between Kaniva and the Dimboola Roos could have considerable ramifications for both teams. Kaniva need another win to assure them of fourth place on the ladder whist Dimboola still harbour thoughts of taking the top spot off Yanac, but they both need a win this week if achieving these goals are to remain possible.
The Horsham Bombers are still in the race for the finals, but a win over the Nhill Leopards this week is essential, whilst a win for their opponent would reduce the pressure for them to hold a place in the top four.
In a rematch of the 2018 grand final, the Warrack Revengers will take on the undefeated Yanac Warriors and with both teams showing some good recent form, this will be the feature game of the round in this division.
The Kaniva Raiders will need to play their best hockey if they are to overcome the tenacious Dimboola Kangaroos who are yet to win a game, but they have shown plenty of potential that their next win is not too far away.
Round Thirteen Fixture
- at the Kaniva Recreation Reserve
9:30 am - Under 16 - Kaniva Raiders v Dimboola Kangaroos
11:00 am - Under 16 - Horsham Bombers v Nhill Leopards
12:30 pm - Women - Horsham Jets v Nhill Thunderbirds
2:00 pm - Women - Kaniva Women v Dimboola Roos
3:30 pm - Open - Horsham Hurricanes v Nhill Rangers
9:30 am - Under 16 - Yanac Warriors v Warracknabeal Revengers
11:00 am - Women - Yanac Women v Warracknabeal Women
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Kaniva Rampagers v Dimboola Kookaburras
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Horsham Black Hawks v Nhill Bandits
12:30 pm - Under 12 Development Program - Yanac Lowan Stars v Warracknabeal Avengers
2:00 pm - Open - Yanac Tigers v Warracknabeal Hoops
3:30 pm - Open - Kaniva Cobras v Dimboola Burras
Round Twelve Results
Dimboola Burras 1 (Goal - J Paley; Best - T Dent, T Jorgensen, L Schultz) drew with Warrack Hoops 1 (Goal - M Williamson; Best - S Schultz, M Williamson, R Bennett)
Yanac Tigers 2 (Goals - S Alexander, C Zanker; Best - T Alexander, S Farmers, J Cramer) defeated Horsham Hurricanes 0 (Best - T Roberts, P Mackereth, C Dodson)
Nhill Rangers 3 (Goals - D Reichelt, J Reichelt, C Hauselburger; Best - S Bone, J Reichelt, L Marra, C Hauselburger) defeated Kaniva Cobras 0 (Best - L Mills, A Wallis, J Bedford, M Goodwin)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Dimboola Roos 7 (Goals - A King 2, P Williams 2, J Klinge 2, N Kuhnell; Best - J Klinge, J Hauselburger, B McMaster) defeated Warracknabeal 0 (Best - S Foot, T Engelbrecht, F Eilola)
Thunderbirds 1 (Goal - E Murden; Best - E Murden, K Farquharson, H Cannel, E Koop) defeated Kaniva 0 (Best - O Williams, C Shurdington, H White, L Stimson)
Yanac 2 (Goals - S Shurdington, C Beattie; Best - M Farmers, E Alexander, C Beattie) defeated Horsham Jets 0 (Best - I Gulline, L Schilling, R Creek)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Warrack Revengers 2 (Goals - K Johns, B Williamson; Best - B Williamson, H Zwar, L Eilola) defeated Dimboola Kangaroos 0 (Best - T Krelle, W Abbott, T Bamford)
Yanac Warriors 18 (Goals - M Farmers 6, J Croot 3, N Colbert 3, R Croot 2, Chloe Zanker, Caleb Zanker, C Hassall, Asher Zanker; Best - M Farmers, N Colbert, J Croot) defeated Horsham Bombers 0 (Best - T Batchelor, S Foot, A Trigg)
Nhill Leopards 0 (Best - L McBride, K Clark, T Cuming) drew with Kaniva Raiders 0 (Best - M Goodwin, S Braisby, I Williams)
| ||Pts|| GD|
Under 12 Development Program
Warrack Avengers 4 (Goals - S Williamson 4, Z O’Connor) defeated Dimboola Kookaburras 0
Nhill Bandits 7 (Goals - T Maloney 2, V Maloney, T Shue, A Beattie, C Rowe, G Pohlner) defeated Kaniva Rampagers 0