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Wimmera Hockey Association | Semi Finals

 Monday 2nd September 2019
 Wimmera Hockey Association
 Wangara Consulting

Wimmera Hockey Association | Semi Finals
Six captivating games of hockey were witnessed on Nhill’s Davis Park on Saturday in the semi final round in the Wimmera Hockey Association, with five decided by just one goal, three going to extra time and two requiring a penalty stroke shootout to separate the combatants.

The prize for the winners of the three qualifying games was direct passage to the grand finals in the respective competitions, whilst the incentive for the teams in the elimination games was to earn a win to stay alive in the quest for the 2019 premiership.

Open – First Semi Final

The Nhill Rangers enjoyed a rare finals appearance, when they took on the higher ranked Dimboola Burras in the elimination semi final, and with nothing to lose they came out strongly applying pressure right from the first whistle. This paid off as they were soon two goals ahead after Blake Miller and Darren Schwarz both scored in the first fifteen minutes.

The Burras responded to the challenge but despite many scoring attempts the well organised Nhill defence repelled them all, but when Lachlan Schultz narrowed the margin to just one goal with ten minutes remaining, the pace increased but both defences held firm and neither team added to their score, leaving the game ended as a victory for the Rangers.

Nhill’s better players included Sam Bone in the midfield, Blake Miller who provided a focus in the forward line and goalkeeper Murray Miller, whilst Lachlan Schultz, Jack Lovett and Tim Jorgensen all played well for the Burras.

Open – Second Semi Final

The game between the Yanac Tigers, who finished as minor premiers, and the second placed Warrack Hoops lived up to all expectations as another epic encounter between these two fierce rivals who have dominated this competition over the last 25 years.

The Hoops gained the early advantage when an aerial flick by Cameron Bardell from the 23 metre line was deflected into the goal by Jordan Williamson, and they were then able to retain control of the game for much of the first twenty minutes but did not breech the Tigers defence again.

The Tigers regrouped and earned a larger share of the ball towards the end of the first half but remained scoreless.

The game continued in Yanac’s favour after the break, but the Hoops’ defenders were up to the challenge until Josh Cramer eluded them and evened the scores after ten minutes of play.

More intense hockey ensued as both teams strived to decide the game by full time, and it was an accurate flick by Marcus Williamson that put the Hoops ahead again. A further six minutes was played out without any further scores before the game finished with the Hoops earning the first place in the grand final, whilst the Tigers still have another chance to qualify next week when they take on the Nhill Rangers in the preliminary final.

Much of the Hoops’ drive came from Cameron Bardell in defence and Marcus Williamson in the midfield, and Royce Bennett stood out in the forward line.

The Tigers better players, Simon Farmers and Luke Reichenbach, also came from their back line with Todd Alexander also putting in a good performance from centre forward.

Women – First Semi Final

Kaniva Women have qualified for only their second ever preliminary final after defeating the higher ranked Nhill Thunderbirds in a game featuring the two teams that missed the finals last year.

Although Nhill dominated much of the game, they could not convert this onto the scoreboard and neither team had found the goals by the end of the regular seventy minutes of play.

It was toward the end of the first period of extra time that Imogen Williams of Kaniva broke the impasse, and even with Nhill dominating the remaining play they could not match the score and the game ended in a Kaniva victory.

Kaniva’s best players, Leonie Shurdington and Sharon Williams, both played in defence and Nhill’s, including Ellie Murden, Kellie Farquharson and Kendra Clark, all spent time in the forward line, highlighting where most of the play was focused throughout most of the game.

This gives Kaniva the opportunity to play for a place in the grand final, although it is now the dominant Yanac team who stands in their way.

Women – Second Semi Final

The quest for the direct path to the Women’s grand final was always anticipated to be a close game, considering that Yanac and the Dimboola Roos played out a win each and a draw in their three meetings during the regular season, and they did not disappoint their supporters.

Both teams had chances to score throughout the first half but went into the half time break without anything on the scorecard, despite Yanac earning six penalty corners which were all successfully defended by the Roos.

Yanac who took this momentum into the second half and gained the advantage when Natalie Harding found the goals just four minutes after play resumed. Ten minutes later Elizabeth Klinge converted one of her team’s six penalty corners for the half to even the scores and ensure the game would go into extra time.

An additional twenty minutes of play still could not separate them, so the game progressed to a penalty stroke shootout.

After the mandatory five stokes each both teams had only advanced their scores by two goals, so the game moved into ‘sudden death’ strokes, when after one more each the Roos finally drew ahead to win the game and a place in their fourth consecutive grand final.

Elizabeth Klinge scored two of the Roos four goals and was named amongst their best players along with Brooke McMaster and Naomi Kuhnell, whilst Erin Alexander, Sophie Pipkorn and Carmel Beattie stood out for Yanac.

Under 16 – First Semi Final

The match to decide which of the lower two ranked teams would stay alive in the race of the Under 16 premiership saw a very even first half played out between the Warrack Revengers and Nhill Rangers with both finding the goals once to go into half time with scores tied at one all.

Warrack dominated play after the break but could not penetrate the Leopards’ defence and when full time was called, the teams were still deadlocked at one goal all.

An extra twenty minutes of play still did not separate them, so the deciding process moved to a penalty stroke shootout.

After three strokes each the scores were still tied, but after another two Nhill drew ahead by a goal and won the game and with it the opportunity to remain in the premiership race.

Lance McBride, Isaac Deckert and Kendra Clark were amongst the better players for the Leopards and regular top performers Heath Johns, Faith Eilola and Ben Williamson stood out for the Revengers.

Under 16 – Second Semi Final

With their sixteenth consecutive win from sixteen games so far this season the Yanac Warriors won their way through to the Under 16 grand final with a comfortable victory over the Kaniva Raiders.

Their trademark strong start resulted in a goal after only four minutes of play and although that would prove to be the only score for the half, the Warriors dominated the play and did not allow the Raiders so settle into their own game.

The Kaniva players rallied after half time, but the Warriors also stepped up and they ran away with the game, scoring a further four goals whilst keeping Kaniva scoreless.

This result moves the Warriors within one victory of the perfect season and back to back premierships and gives the Raiders a week to regroup before they take on the Nhill Leopards for the other place in the grand final.

Jasper Croot and Caleb Zanker both played well for the Warriors and Max Goodwin and Imogen Williams were amongst the Raiders best.

Semi Final Results

Open – First Semi Final

Nhill Rangers 2 (Goals – D Schwarz, B Miller; Best – S Bone, B Miller, Murray Miller) defeated Dimboola Burras 1 (Goal – L Schultz; Best – L Schultz, J Lovett, T Jorgensen) – Game decided at full time

Open – Second Semi Final

Warrack Hoops 2 (Goals – J Williamson, M Williamson; Best – C Bardell, R Bennett, M Williamson) defeated Yanac Tigers 1 (Goal – J Cramer; Best – S Farmers, L Reichenbach, T Alexander) – Game decided at full time

Women – First Semi Final

Kaniva 1 (Goal – I Williams; Best – S Williams, L Shurdington, O Williams) defeated Nhill Thunderbirds 0 (Best – E Murden, K Farquharson, K Clark) – (0-0 Full Time, 1-0 Extra time)

Women – Second Semi Final

Dimboola Roos 4 (Goals – E Klinge 2, B McMaster, J Klinge; Best – E Klinge, B McMaster, N Kuhnell) defeated Yanac 3 (Goals – N Harding, E Alexander, M Farmers; Best – E Alexander, S Pipkorn, C Beattie) - (1-1 Full Time, 0-0 Extra Time, 3-2 Shootout)

Under 16 – First Semi Final

Nhill Leopards 5 (Goals – I Deckert 2, L McBride, C Rowe, C Koop; Best – L McBride, I Deckert, K Clark) defeated Warrack Revengers 4 (Goals - C Bennett, F Eilola, H Johns, B Williamson; Best – H Johns, F Eilola, B Williamson) - (1-1 Full Time, 1-1 Extra Time, 3-2 Shootout)

Under 16 – Second Semi Final

Yanac Warriors 5 (Goals – Caleb Zanker, H Pedie, M Farmers, R Croot, N Colbert; Best – J Croot, Caleb Zanker, N Colbert) defeated Kaniva Raiders (Best – M Goodwin, I Williams, C White) – Game decided at full time


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