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Mixed results for Goulburn Valley at championships

Goulburn Valley Hockey Association fielded six teams at Hockey Victoria's Senior Country Championships and finished with varying results.

MATTHEW GALEA June 11, 2014 3:05am

Goulburn Valley Hockey Association was well represented at Hockey Victoria’s Senior Country Championships, but its six teams encountered mixed results.

The response for the women’s teams was impressive once again, with GVHA the best represented at the women’s Country Championship in Geelong.

GVHA sent four women’s teams to Geelong, including two filled with A-grade players.

Cara Disint helped organise the sides and was delighted to see the response.

‘‘It was our largest contingent we’ve ever had,’’ Disint said.

‘‘We had three teams last year, but we stretched it to four with a few of the younger girls and we had a few girls who played in a couple of teams.’’

The two A-grade teams, A and A-reserve, had differing fortunes, with the A-side coming fifth, while A-reserve came second, losing its grand final to Sunraysia 3-0.

‘‘We played our guts out in A-reserve, but we came up against a very skilful Sunraysia side in the final,’’ Disint said.

The other two teams the women fielded played in the B and veteran grades respectively, with the B-team finishing fourth after losing out in the semis, while the veterans finished runners-up.

‘‘The veterans were great, but went down 1-0 to Geelong in the second half of overtime in the grand final,’’ Disint said.

Disint said it was hard to pick any standouts across the four sides, but it was pleasing to see so many players put their hands up to play in so many teams.

‘‘I’d have to have a proper sit down and have a good think about who the best players were because so many people chipped in over the weekend,’’ Disint said.

The men fielded two teams, with an A-grade side playing in division one and a veterans side which played in the veterans competition — both of which were held at Footscray Hockey Centre.

A-grade player Michael Nielsen said although his side finished sixth out of seven and was on the wrong end of some big scorelines, his team played well.

‘‘We were playing state league sides who play together all the time and we hadn’t played as a team until we all got there,’’ Nielsen said.

‘‘The games were a lot tighter than they looked, but there were a few periods where we got ran over.’’

There were some positives, though, with Xavier McBain being picked for the Country Victoria squad, while Jayden Gulson was picked for the state development squad.

The veterans faired a little better, finishing fifth out of seven, a good result considering the squad had the bare minimum of 11 for the weekend, player Andrew Younger said.

‘‘It’s hard doing a tournament with the bare minimum, but it was a good spread of performances,’’ Younger said.

‘‘We beat Albury Wodonga’s second team 2-0 and South West 3-0, so they were highlights and even the games we lost, goalkeeper Ben Linnet was very good.’’

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