New England shot their way to the State U18s Boys Championship Division 2 title at Newcastle on the weekend.
The Kyle Eichorn and Greg Doolan-coached side defeated Grafton 4-2 in the final on Sunday to claim the silverware, and with it promotion to Division 1 for next year.
“They did very well. It was a good result considering we lost to Grafton in the round games,” Eichorn said.
The 5-2 defeat was their only blemish for the tournament. They registered round wins over Bathurst (3-2), Tamworth (2) (8-nil) and Parkes (5-nil) before accounting for Sydney South West 3-2 in their semi-final.
Eichorn was in the dug out for the final, and took some extra satisfaction from the win, having been beaten by Grafton in the same situation a few years back as a player.
He said one of the major differences between the final and their pool game was they gelled better. After that game they really started “to string passes together”.
“(And) They worked really hard in the final. They really wanted to win,” he said.
They were always ahead or level in the final.
“We started off really well. We got a penalty corner pretty early,” Eichorn said.
“Then it went tit for tat until it was 2-all.”
After hitting the front again, Darby Chalmers sealed the victory off a penalty stroke with about 10 minutes remaining.
Chalmers received the citizenship award for the tournament and was prominent in the midfield along with Nathan Czinner, while Jake McCann was good up front.
Keeper Stirling George also had a good tournament.