Hockey: Tamworth Public and Ben Venue finals bound

Clean sheet: Tamworth Public Schools' boys beat Crookwell 4-nil in Dubbo last week to qualify for the State PSSA Hockey Knockout finals in Sydney next week.
Clean sheet: Tamworth Public Schools' boys beat Crookwell 4-nil in Dubbo last week to qualify for the State PSSA Hockey Knockout finals in Sydney next week.

Ben Venue girls and Tamworth Public boys will shoot for the State PSSA Hockey Knockout silverware in Sydney next week after triumphing in their respective quarter-finals last week.

Ben Venue were the first to progress with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Wollondilly in Newcastle on Tuesday.

The following day in Dubbo, the Tamworth Public boys joined them in the final four with a 4-nil win over Crookwell.

Charlie Straw and Hamish George slotted doubles for the Graeme McKenzie-coached side, who started brightly with Straw scoring in the first two minutes but fell away after that.

“I suspect the boys thought it was going to be easy.

“They chose not to play the positions or structure we had spoken about. They wanted to be too much like individuals,” McKenzie said.

Consequently it was still only 1-nil at half-time.

“The second half they played better, but still not to the same standard I’d like them to be playing,” he said.

Ben Venue also started strongly and had the majority of the play early. After creating multiple chances they finally converted one with a beautiful ball from Charlotte Portel to Lucy Deiderick, who dragged the keeper and slotted it in the corner for a 1-nil lead at half-time.

Top effort: Ben Venue's hockey team are off to the top four finals for the PSSA knockout tournament.

Top effort: Ben Venue's hockey team are off to the top four finals for the PSSA knockout tournament.

They knew that Wollondilly were going to come out strong in the second half but Jeanie Inglis and Charlotte Portel held the centre well and limited how much ball Wollondilly’s state representative got.

Mid-way into the second-half a ball was crossed into the Ben Venue attacking circle where Ellesse Peltonen was sitting at the top of the circle and weaved her magic to double their advantage.

Wollondilly dragged a goal back with only minutes remaining but Ben Venue held on for a one goal win.

The finals will be held in Sydney on September 18.