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The Year 2011...


The Finals Series of Macarthur Hockey Association commenced last Friday night and our club had some mixed results over the weekend.

Both Under 15 teams finished 3rd after the Preliminary Rounds.

The Under 15 Girls opened the night with a tough game against Wests Piranhas. We came away with a narrow 1-0 victory, courtesy of a goal to Erin Besgrove, but that was good enough to see us through to the Preliminary Final next week.

The Under 15 Juniors team scored a solid 4-2 victory over Harrington Park. It was a sweet victory against a team that had beaten us last time we played. Isaac McDonald scored 2 goals. Luke Ollerenshaw and Angus Adams scored 1 goal each. Both Isaac and Luke have achieved significant Milestones for the club this season. Isaac has become the youngest player to achieve 200 Club Rounds and Luke achieved his 150 Round Milestone. Well done boys!

Our Under 17 Boys finished Minor Premiers and have progressed straight to the Grand Final in 2 weeks time. We beat Harrington Park 6-1 in the last round match.

Our Under 18 Girls went into round 23 clinging onto 3rd place by 1 point. We needed to either beat the top team, Wests or rely on Mounties-Easts beating Harrington Park. Unfortunately, neither result went our way and it was the end of the season for our under 18 girls.

On Saturday morning our Under 7 Minkey and Under 9 Minkey teams were out nice and early for their last round of the season. After the games there was a presentation from the Macarthur Hockey Association and then some fun on the jumping castle. Thanks to all the coaches, managers, parents and players for a wonderful season!

Our combined Minkey Hockey playing force

Both the Under 11 and Under 13 Juniors have finished the Preliminary Rounds as Minor Premiers!

Our Under 11 Juniors team kept their undefeated record intact with a solid 2-0 victory over a determined Easts side. Courtney Schonell & Jaide Gayle scored our goals. This earned us a weekend off and a place in the Grand Final.

The Under 13 Juniors faced a very tough battle against Harrington Park, the only team to have beaten us all season. However, we defended strongly and managed a single goal ourselves (scored by Aleisha Fisher) to win the game 1-0 and progress to the Grand Final in 2 weeks time.

The last junior match for the day was an Under 13 Girls round 23 game against Harrington Park. Our team was missing several regular players and we were convincingly beaten 0-9 by a very strong opposition. However, the result did not alter the final standings and we head to the Preliminary Final this week with confidence.

Saturday afternoon saw our Ladies take the field. Minor Premierships were achieved by Ingleburn Knights and Ingleburn Green - well done Ladies!

First up was Ingleburn Bulldogs Green in the Ladies C Grade Major Semi Final. Unfortunately the team was missing a couple of key players and played the majority of the first half without a full team. Thanks to Zoe for filling in as goalie at short notice, without having played in that position all season. Ultimately, Collegians scored the only goal of the match and we are left with a game this week against Easts to win the right to play them again in the Grand Final.

In the B Grade Major Semi Final, Ingleburn Knights were up for a challenging game against a Mounties team that has been improving all season. Mounties knocked in 3 quick goals and got away to what proved to be a match winning lead. We scored the only goal of the 2nd half to go down 1-3, suffering our first defeat of the season. This puts us in a must-win situation this week against City in the Preliminary Final.

Ingleburn Gold played City in the B Grade Minor Semi Final. City came out firing and ended up with a 4-0 win, thus ending the ladies'season for 2011.

Sunday afternoon it was our Men's teams in action.

3rd Grade Old Dogs were up against Minor Premiers, Campbelltown City. We had numerous chances to score in the first half only to see them go wide or saved. City managed to take advantage of one of their chances and went to half time 1-0. We were still in the game. Unfortunately, their strike players began to get more room to move. This put more pressure on our defence. City put in 4 unanswered goals during the 2nd half to run out 5-0 winners. We can re-group ourselves and be ready for next week's match against Collegians to win another crack at City.

2nd Grade player the Minor Premiers, Harrington Park in the Major Semi Final. The first half was not one of our best all season, however we still went to the break 1-1 thanks to another Ben Andaloro goal. The half time talk was all about controlling the ball and delivering good passes to our team mates. In a wonderful display of skilled hockey, we ran away with the match 6-1. 4 more (brilliant) unanswered goals came from Ben Andaloro in a man-of-the-match performance! James Muir typified the commitment all players showed by putting his body on the line to score his goal! We now move straight to the Grand Final in 2 weeks time to play either Harrington Park or Skyarks Rams.

1st Grade finished the Preliminary rounds as Minor Premiers for the 3rd season in a row. We played a Round 23 match that had no bearing on the positions on the points table and ran out 6-4 winners against Collegians. Both teams were missing players. We move straight to the Grand Final to play the winner of Sylarks and Collegians in 2 weeks time.

Preliminary Finals Results.

The Under 15 Girls kicked off the Preliminary Finals against Harrington Park Purple. We had finished the regular season on equal points, so a close match was expected. It was really great to see Ashlie Rawnsley take the field after her being carried from the field with an injured ankle in the Semi Final. The girls fought bravely but at the end of the night it was Harrington Park Purple who advanced to the Grand Final next week with a 2-0 scoreline.

Our Under 15 Juniors were next. Macarthur Skylarks Gryphons were their opponents. A draw and a narrow win to each side in the 3 previous clashes, both teams knew this was always going to be a tight game! It did not disappoint anyone! It was a great game of open attacking hockey with the both sides displaying plenty of attacking flair that was matched with equally determined defence. Jordan Manders scored early on for us, but Skylarks managed to establish a 2 goal lead (3-1) midway through the second half. We narrowed the difference to a single goal when Isaac McDonald scored with minutes to go. Unfortunately, time ran out and Macarthur Skylarks Gryphons advanced to the Grand Final with 3-2 being the final score.

The Under 17 Boys did not play as they had already established their place in the Grand Final by finishing Minor Premiers in the 4 team competition.

The sun was shining all weekend so heat and fatigue would come into play in all games.

The Under 11 Junior and Under 13 Junior teams had earned a week off with victories last week, so it was only the Under 13 Girlswho were in action on Saturday morning. Our opponents were Wests Stingrays, a team that had not troubled us all season. Running true to form, the girls advanced to the Grand Final next weekend courtesy of goals to Zali Dunn (2), Maddison Chapman and Josie Begg.

Our club will be represented in all 3 Junior Grand Finals next Saturday morning.

It was Ingleburn Bulldogs Green in Ladies C Grade who got the seniors underway in the afternoon. The game unfolded according coach Smitty's plan - score early and let the heat take its toll on the opposition. Brittney Chapman was listening and in the first 5 minutes of the match, sent us to a 1-0 lead. Jo Gardiner paid attention at half time and extended the lead to 2-0 - again in the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half! Anne-Marie Domb killed off any doubts with a goal to move to 3-0. Playing with only 11 players, our girls put in 150% effort to maintain our lead. Our goalkeeper, Di Poulton typified this commitment when she saved a shot at goal and the impact of the shot made her fall back into the goals! Easts scored late, but the difference was too great. Have a look at the photo gallery.The ladies had booked their re-match against Collegians with their 3-1 victory.

Ingleburn Knights had the next opportunity to reach the Grand Final in the B Grade Preliminary Final. After finishing the regular season undefeated, the loss last weekend had come as a bit of a shock to the Ladies. When Lynette slammed home a goal in the opening minutes we looked to be back on track. However, City were in good form. Unfortunately, another goal from Lynette and one from Georgia were not enough. When the final whistle blew, a 3-4 loss ended our season.

The Old Dogs were ready for a big effort against Collegians in 3rd Grade. We did realise how big and how deep we would have to dig, but not to what extent we would have to go to. The temperature was hovering around 30 degrees. I blew up at one point and Molly did at another point. Hallucinations of where he was affected Shane at one point in the match when he tried to have a "bromance" with a Collies player....Wazza had a "clash of the titans" with Ashley (see the photo in the photo gallery)...Collies scored early. Midge really thought he was somewhere else too when no Collies player came near him in the circle during a penalty corner - he had so much time to line up his shot and bang it into the net it sent a statement to all of us that we were back in the game! Goals to Molly and Dougie sent us to half time up 3-1. Our task was simple. Keep the ball. Slow the game down. Make them work for field position. Shane constantly sent the ball flying back to the other end during his time at fullback. This tactic certainly turned the match our way. Collies were forced to cart the ball back to us out of defence. As the match progressed, their passes turned to long hits which became targets for interceptions by us and counter attacks. No goals in the 2nd half meant we booked another show-down against City next week - well done boys!

Grand Final Wrap-Up for 2011.

A mixed bag of weather over the Grand Final weekend saw us again achieve 3 premierships in the 2011 season as well as all 4 Macarthur Club Championships. My thanks go to those coaches who helped me with the match reports

The Under 17 Boys had their chances but failed to convert

Friday night saw our Under 17 Junior team play Harrington Park. There had been a number of close results between the 2 teams during the regular season. Harrington Park leapt out of the blocks and soon established a 2-0 lead. A goal to Jacob Andaloro after half time put us back in the picture. A struggle developed between the 2 teams for the title. Unfortunately for us, Harrington Park scored a late goal to clinch the premiership and our Under 17 hoodoo continues. Nathen Daniel was named as the Best and Fairest Player from the Under 17 competition.

Saturday, 24th September was a long day with 9 Grand Finals being contested from 8.30am.

The under 11 juniors were on fire all season finishing the season undefeated

Saturday morning saw our Under 11 Juniorteam trying to repeat the success of 2010. This time we were playing Easts.

It is often a difficult task to win a Grand Final when you are the favourites. The team were undefeated Minor Premiers coming into this match with an impressive 168 goals for and only 6 against! Nerves abounded. Half time saw the scores locked at 0-0. However, the determined Bulldogs lifted their game in the 2nd half and established a 1-0 lead soon after the break. Further positive play and teamwork resulted in a second goal, which put the match beyond Easts. Jarred Papworth scored both goals. Congratulations to Jo and her team for their success!

Cameron Binnie starred for the under 13 juniors all season

Our Under 13 Juniors were also Minor Premiers coming into this match. Harrington Park were our opponents. They had beaten us once in round 15. It would be a close match. Harrington Park scored early to establish a 1-0 lead. Try as we did, the equalizing goal eluded us for a long time until Todd Hamilton scored nearing the end of regular time. Sudden death was upon us. Unfortunately, Harrington Park scored almost straight away to clinch the title. The team can be very proud of their efforts all season. They are a credit to our club and themselves for the way they play the game.

The under 13 girls fought hard but were no match for Harrington Park

Grand Final fever for our Under 13 Girls team set in early on the day with many arriving to support the U/11's and the 13 Juniors in their own quest for a Premiership victory. The girls enthusiasm was infectious as they spray painted their hair and coloured their faces with the team colours. The girls were up against a very strong Harrington Park side that had finished as Minor Premiers. We went into the match with the knowledge that we had given them a couple of close contests throughout the regular season. The girls got off to a great start finding themselves on the attack, but unfortunately could not convert their territorial advantage. Try as we could, we were unable to stop Harrington Park from becoming the 2011 premiers. Despite the result, the girls should be proud of their effort both today and throughout the season because in reality they have had an extremely productive year. They have thrilled their families, their supporters and myself with their skill level, some incredible individual and team goals, while demonstrating above everything else a tremendous amount of team spirit and sportsmanship.

We had 4 Senior Teams contesting a Grand Final during the afternoon.

C Grade Ladies

C Grade Ladies came into the Grand Final with a resounding 3-1 win over Easts to set up a re-match with Collegians. Both our C Grade teams had the bare 11 players, which we knew may give us some problems in the finals. Little did we know just how much! We had the bare minimum players allowed to contest the match at the start of the game. We reached 9 shortly into the match. Try as we could, the weight of numbers against us and the lack of interchange started to tell. Collies went 1-0 up early in the first half. As fatigue started to set in Collies scored their 2nd goal midway through the 2nd half to seal the match. The Ladies can be proud of their achievement in reaching the Grand Final and look forward to 2012 with a view to reversing the result! 0 from 1.

3rd Grade Old Dogs preparing for battle

3rd Grade Old Dogs were chasing a 2nd premiership. City were at full strength. We were missing 2 of our regulars. City got away to a good start with 2 goals before Dougie clawed one back. A successful penalty corner from City took us to half time 1-3 and still in with a shot. Molly scored straight after the break to bring the score back to 2-3 and we sensed a chance. Their penalty corners were always a worry to us and they proved to be the difference between us. When they put in 3 corners in quick succession against us, we knew the small mug was ours this year. Dougie scored near the finish to make the score 3-6. We may have to go back to being the Gold Dogs next year.....0 from 2.

2nd Grade - Premiers 2011

2nd Grade Men took steps to reverse the trend in great style. Our opponents were Skylarks Rams. 2 wins each during the regular season meant that we would have to play well to win. The weather was beginning to turn from heat to cold. Once again, we got off to a great start via a goal to Dale early in the match. Ben Andaloro gave us a dream half time 2-0 lead when he converted a stroke just before half time. Our aim then was to keep Skylarks scoreless, not to give them a sniff of a comeback and trust ourselves. Another goal to Ben (making 7 for the finals series) via a tomahawk took us to 3-0 and put the seal on the match and our first premiership in 2nd Grade since 2001. Congratulations to this team - a mixture of youth and experience brought together by coach Luke Bolwell - that made themselves and their club proud! A special thanks to Mick Roberts who has been a integral member, mentor and coach of 2nd Grade for the past 5 years. 1 from 3.

Footnote: Matt Botfield completed an unusual hat trick with 2nd Grade's victory - he became the first person in our club's history to play in 3 consecutive premiership winning teams in each of the 3 grades within our club (2009 - 1st Grade, 2010 - 3rd Grade & 2011 - 2nd Grade).

1st grade presentation

The scene was now set for 1st Grade Men to try and complete a hat-trick of premierships in the Macarthur competition.

Collies were our opponents. We were keen to reverse the result of the Joint Competition Final. By now the weather had turned completely. Rain was imminent. Josh took us to a 1-0 lead within a minute of the match starting and our confidence grew. We held this lead until half time. We had further chances to score, but to no avail. Rain - both heavy and light was a feature of the 2nd half - it also made Matty leap the far fence just after half time to answer the call of nature. As he didn't tell anyone, this caused frantic calls from the field that we were one player down - a quick check of the dug-out found no-one missing and we then saw him returning! A "dubious" yellow card to Josh sparked a goal from Collies to bring the score back to 1-1. On his return, Josh again scored within a minute of taking the field to take us to 2-1. A defensive lapse saw Collies draw level 2-2 and the match was on in earnest. Benny put our noses in front again midway through an enthralling 2nd half. The pit stop was just what the doctor ordered as Matty put the game beyond the reach of Collies with our 4th goal and the hat-trick was completed. It has been my privilege to be involved with this team - full of talent and friendship developed over many years. I hope this can contiunue for years to come!

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