Last weekend saw the return of Winter Hockey out at Sawpit Oval with the first round enthusiastically played. Saturday proved sunny, and about ten degrees warmer than the day before, which was in itself confusing and lead to much discussion on how to best be rugged up on the field. Once the brave players had shed their jumpers and coats and ventured out into the sun, things were off to a smashing start.
First came the Super 7s competition with the Naturals coming up against the Rams. The frightened Rams bravely took the field against the much more experienced Naturals and knew they were in for a tough fight right from the start. Michael Skillen began the onslaught, quickly followed by Stuart MacKenzie and Courtney Forster who wasn’t happy with just one goal of her own, and had to have two. Once Peter Corkery had two goals of his own, the Naturals kindly sacrificed one of their own players to help the little Rams to try and even the playing field. Jenny McKay and Amy Harding displayed valiant efforts to score once each for the Rams, but with continual goals for the Naturals, now coming from Aden Bennett and Hope Smith, it didn’t make much difference in the end. The Naturals defeated the Rams 8-2.
On the other field, the Perils were doing battle with the Top Dogs. As usual, the swarm of Grubers proved worthy adversaries, giving the Top Dogs (whose average age was probably double that of the Perils) a run for their money.
Tahlia Gruber led the assault for the Perils, scoring the only goal the Perils managed that game as, while there was much back and forth, the Top Dogs refused to be sent to their kennel by these plucky youngsters.
Brayden Day, Matt Kalisch, and Katelyn Thornhill-Weedon (who had only just joined the team) ensured that the Top Dogs lived up to their name, at least for this week. By the time the final whistle went, the Top Dogs had come out on top 3-1.
By 2pm, the first actual round of the Winter Competition was beginning which saw a team of Badgers face off against an army of Penguins. When both teams had finished trying to decide what their animal attack calls sounded like, the ball became the focus of their attention and hockey began to happen. Only five minutes into the game Brady Kenny did what any good team captain should do, and set the standard for his Badgers, scoring the first goal of the season from the top of the circle after a massive run down the field.
A couple of minutes later Loren Wilkinson followed his lead, scoring again after a beautiful pass from Jenny McKay. Both Brady and Loren scored twice more each to take the Badgers to six goals while Nick Dwyer managed to achieve the single goal for the Penguins meaning that, at least for this week, a Badger really would beat a Penguin in a fight.
As the sun began to edge toward the horizon and the people on the sidelines began to freeze to death, the Blues went up against a formidable DTS in the last game of the afternoon. One could almost accuse DTS of training in secret while we took a break since last year as they were the only ones to manage to score.
The Blues put up a good fight and displayed some fine skill in the form of Ryan Laybutt, but it made no difference. Stuart MacKenzie alone took four goals while Michael Day had to settle for three. Amy Reid and Bobby Macatol both went home with two each while Courtney Forster, Joanne Garlick and Kelly Day all did their part with one each. In the end DTS were victorious with an impressive 14-0. Let us see if they can keep that up next week.
Super 7s – all games at 1pm. Ground 2 - Top Dogs versus Rams. Ground 3 - Bears versus Naturals. Ground 4 - Perils versus Vipers.
Winter Competition: Ground 1 2pm - DTS versus Badgers (Umpires Penguins and Red Backs / Canteen Duty Red Backs). Ground 1 3:15pm - Penguins versus Red Backs (Umpires DTS and Badgers / Canteen Duty Badgers).