Goulburn Valley Hockey Association's under-13 boys' team has come home from the Junior Country Championships title after going through the tournament undefeated.DAMEN FRANCIS May 29, 2014 3:10am
Goulburn Valley’s under-13 boys’ team took out the title at last weekend’s Junior Country Championships in Melbourne.
Strikers centre-half Connor Holland led Goulburn Valley Hockey Association’s under-13 boys’ team to an impressive win at Hockey Victoria’s Junior Country Championships at the weekend.
Holland was a rock in the middle of the pitch, dictating play for much of the weekend, as Goulburn Valley went undefeated through six games in pool A at Footscray Hockey Centre.
Goulburn Valley beat Central Victoria 2-0, Hockey Geelong 1-0, Hockey Albury Wodonga 5-0 and was held to a 1-1 draw by North Central on day one.
A 1-0 win against West Gippsland in the final group game on day two set up a decider with North Central, which Goulburn Valley shaded 1-0.
Holland received quality support from Echuca-Moama’s Harrison Cooke and Benalla’s Evan Dowe.
The performance of the under-13 team even surprised coach Bryce Lowndes.
‘‘I was a little bit skeptical going into the weekend, we didn’t have a lot of training together and I didn’t know how the team was going to go,’’ Lowndes said.
‘‘They played very well and after finishing runner-up last year they won it this year.’’
Lowndes said about six players in this year’s 14-player squad played last year.
In all, Goulburn Valley sent five teams to the annual junior competition.
The under-13 girls’ team overcame a shaky start to win three of its six games in pool A, before securing a 0-0 draw with Sunraysia in the third place playoff.
Making the performance even more impressive, they did so with just 12 players for the weekend, with almost every player experiencing their first country championships.
It was a similar situation for the under-15 girls, who finished the weekend in style, with back-to-back wins on day two, including a third place playoff win against Sunraysia.
Earlier in the tournament, Sunraysia beat Goulburn Valley 3-0.
Coach Chris Chittick said at the start of the weekend the squad was full of wingers, but by the end all were capable of playing on two or more lines.
Chittick also praised the work of assistant coach Peter Roberts, who implemented several systems, including the one that helped the team win the final game, and the players for adapting so well.
The under-15 boys finished fourth, with three draws, one win and two defeats, losing to Warrnambool in the final.
The under-17 boys lost their first three games, but won the next three to finish third, beating round one conqueror Ballarat 3-0 in the final game.
Without the numbers to field an under-17 girls’ team, Echuca’s Paige Oliver and Euroa’s Lucy Moore played in the boys’ team, earning plenty of game time as the 10th and 11th players.
Moore also swung the stick for Albury-Wodonga’s girls’ side, which won the title, to play a remarkable 11 games for the weekend.
GVHA publicity officer Therese Nicholson said it was a great weekend of quality hockey.
‘‘It was a great opportunity for the GV kids because they develop as they go through the weekend, because mostly they haven’t had a lot of opportunity to play in tournaments together,’’ Nicholson said.
‘‘Albury-Wodonga are always really strong and this year we really put it to them, so we did really well.’’
Association matches resume Saturday.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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