Title joy for New England hockey players

NEW England hockey players enjoyed national and state title success on the weekend, with the U13 boys winning their division at the State Championships in Grafton and Angela Dean, Anne Martin, Cyndy Slade and Kaylene Osborne winning gold with the NSW Over 50s in Darwin.

They beat Queensland 2-nil on penalties to claim the national title after scores were locked at 0-all at full-time.

Dean and Osborne were also named in the Australian side to  play in next year’s Trans Tasman tournament in Melbourne.

Yesterday at Grafton, the 13s boys defeated Dubbo 2-nil to be crowned Division 3 statechampions.

“We scored a goal in each half and really controlled the game very well,” coach Paul Eichorn said.

“We were rarely under pressure.”

They had gone down to Dubbo 1-nil when they met during the pool stages and took a lot from that.

“We changed a few things,” Eichorn said.

The big thing was it made them realise they had to work harder, which they did.

They all knew their roles and went out and performed them to improve on their semi-final finish last year.

It was the only silverware for the local sides, with the Tamworth As going down to Sydney (1) 8-nil in their Division 1 semi-final and the Bs drawing 1-all with Nepean thanks to a late equaliser from Ryan Taggart to avoid relegation.

There was some medal success for Tamworth players though, with Kate Perrett and Naomi Spark returning from Darwin with silver after they were beaten 2-1 by Victoria in the 40s final.

They had headed in as favourites but didn’t execute as well as they could have, Perrett said.

New England’s Michelle Power was also part of that side, adding to the association’s medal haul.

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