TAMWORTH High showed its hockey class and wrested the State CHS Boys Knockout regional title from Oxley High’s grasp with a comprehensive win over defending state champions yesterday.
The two have built up a strong rivalry in recent years and have won the past four regional titles between them.
Tamworth High won it in 2011, and Oxley 2012 and 2013.
Yesterday, Tamworth High was too good for an Oxley side that has lost several of its stars, running out 7-nil victors.
Tamworth High still has many of theirs and they shone yesterday with Josh Worpel netting a hat-trick and controlling the middle with James Psarakis.
Psarakis also got on the scoresheet along with Tom Smith, Isaac Moxon and Luke Albertson in what was a pretty good
“They were patient and prepared to move the ball around,” coach Greg Allen said.
Once that happened they really started to control the centre with Psarakis, Worpel and Matt Sing really directing the show.
They were well in control at half-time leading 3-nil, but didn’t let up.
Even at the end they were still trying to move the ball around, Allen said.
The side is a mix of ages.
They’ve got players from Year 7 right up to Year 12.
Oxley High coach Peter Yeo also commented on the way Tamworth High controlled the game through their two centre halves with Worpel and Psarakis often playing in tandem in that role.
“Just across the park they’ve got a better spread of hockey talent,” Yeo said.
He said for them Andrew Finch was good in the middle. Harry Lewin also did well as an inner and had a good tussle with Addison Coutman.
He also made mention of Blake Turner.
“Blake did as much as he could on Josh,” Yeo said.
Having to play him there did however take away an attacking option.
The loss doesn’t end their title defence.
Both sides do advance, Tamworth High just has first pick of who they want to play.
After finishing in the top eight last year both have the bye the next round.
The win ended a mixed week for Tamworth High after the girls were beaten by Armidale High 2-1 earlier in the week.
“I always thought it would be a tough game,” Allen said.
“We’ve only got one Year 12 and two Year 11s.”
They scored first but went into half-time down 2-1.
Allen felt Armidale were really starting to get on top of them but they came out and dominated the second half.
“We actually attacked the whole second half but we couldn’t score a goal,” he said.
“Armidale really defended and marked well.
“They played it smart and broke our attack down.”
o St Edwards Noah Pitt and Luke Maher and St Marys, Armidale’s Nathan Czinner, Jake McCann, Liam Smith were part of the Polding side that won the State PSSA Boys Championship in Canberra this week. Polding claimed the silverware defeating Hunter in the final 4-2. Czinner and McCann were also both named in the NSW team.