Goulburn Valley Hockey Association players Grace Arnold, Mardi Petherick and Alyssa Roberts have played pivotal roles in the North East Country Knights' under-15 girls' team winning the Junior State Championships title.MATTHEW GALEA July 9, 2014 3:05am
Grace Arnold, Alyssa Roberts and Mardi Petherick were crucial to the under-15 girls Knights’ triumph at the Junior State Championships.
Grace Arnold, Mardi Petherick and Alyssa Roberts knew they were playing in a good team from their first training session with the North East Country Knights under-15 girls.
It was such a good team, in fact, it took out the under-15 girls Junior State Championship title, defeating Western Wildcats via an eight-second shootout after drawing 2-2 after normal time.
‘‘The Knights won last year, and I was expecting to win on the first day,’’ Arnold said.
‘‘But after the first day’s play I wasn’t so sure because everyone else was good as well.
‘‘It was my first time playing JSC, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.’’
On the first day, the Knights drew 0-0 with Southern Sharks, before beating North West Country Lightning 5-0.
The Knights picked up another two wins on day two, beating Eastern Hotshots 2-1 and then knocking off Central Flames 2-0.
Further 2-0 and 1-0 wins against North East Red Devils and the Wildcats respectively set up a grand final rematch against the metro side.
The game finished 2-2, but with Victorian under-15 girls goalkeeper Isabel Kramer in goal, the Knights came out on top in the eight-second shootout — where players have eight seconds to score against the opposition keeper in a one-on-one contest — to seal the win.
Petherick was tasked with taking the first shot and succeeded, to help set up the win.
Petherick said it was great to be able to have the opportunity to play just with girls as opposed to the mixed Goulburn Valley Hockey Association competition, while Arnold felt the week was a great chance to develop skills.
‘‘It’s interesting to be with all those people and playing at that high standard,’’ Petherick said.
‘‘You learn a lot.’’
Roberts, who played with Petherick in a Lightning side prior to GVHA’s switch this year, said playing in the Knights exposed the girls to a higher calibre of player.
‘‘We knew they were good because they won it last year,’’ Roberts said.
Donna Sutherland coached the girls and predicted a bright future for all three after their strong performances in her zone side.
‘‘All three of them were fantastic,’’ Sutherland said.
‘‘Alyssa played mainly in the forward line where her pace served her very well and she assisted a number of goals.
‘‘All three of them were really versatile though and I think Mardi at one stage had played just about every position on the pitch.
‘‘They’re very talented, all-round girls and I think they have a bright future in the game if they stick with it.’’
Hafizullah Mohaqiq was born in Afghanistan, spent periods living in Pakistan and Iran, before arriving in Shepparton two months ago.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The Fairley Leadership Program met in Tatura on Wednesday, exploring ‘Water and our catchment’ at Goulburn Murray Water.
Road authorities have made little progress to fixing Echuca’s most dangerous intersections.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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