NSW’s under-18s will be hoping to put the Blues back on top after their golden run at the Australian Indoor Hockey Festival was ended in Goulburn on the weekend.
After entering the under-15s championships defending champions in the boys’ and girls’ divisions, both had to settle for silver.
Undefeated heading into the final, the girls side containing Tamworth’s Amber Witney and New England’s Chelsea Thornton lost in a shoot-out to Queensland Maroon 1-nil after scores were locked at 0-all at half-time and 2-all at full-time.
Witney was prominent up front across the tournament scoring seven goals including doubles in their wins over ACT, Western Australia and Tasmania to be NSW’s top goalscorer and equal second on the overall list.
The boys side featuring New England’s Rohan Lawrence and Tyler McCann, and Tamworth’s Nick O’Connor were meanwhile beaten by Victoria 5-3 in the gold medal game.
Similarly to the girls, it was their only loss of what was a strong tournament both from a team perspective, racking up some big wins on their way to the final, and for the northern contingent.
The Blues’ leading goalscorer their last two campaigns, O’Connor finished their equal top goalscorer and the equal third for the tournament with nine goals including two hat-tricks.
Lawrence and McCann also had fruitful tournaments. Lawrence slotted six goals including four in their 13-nil win over South Australia and McCann four.
The 15s championships followed on from the under-13s where NSW claimed the boys and girls titles.
The under-18s championships get underway on Monday.
The NSW girls side of which New England’s Meg Lye and Lily Neilson are a part of are chasing back-to-back titles, while Nathan Czinner and Jake McCann are suiting up for the boys.