THE Far South Coast Hockey Association put in a dominant display at last weekend’s NSW Women’s Masters State Championships, putting a broom through the competition to be crowned undefeated champions without conceding a single goal in two divisions.
The teams competed in the over 35s and over 40s divisions in Newcastle and the Central Coast, with the two championships the best results ever recorded by the association.
Six games in three days for each team, with minimal reserve players on the bench, tested everyone’s fitness and endurance, but the standard of play was high and no one came home with any major injuries.
The camaraderie amongst the players was also on display for all to see, with players going along to support the other team during their games whenever possible.
The defensive unit of goalkeeper Vanessa Causer, fullbacks Ellie Williams and Julie Pope and halves Wendy Thoms, Lynne Koerbin, Helen Hayward and Jane Linehan combined to hold all opponents scoreless for the over 35s, in a fearsome performance.
Not to be outdone, the forward line of Kath Sirl, Barb Rogers, Michelle Vernon, Anne Pointon, Brenda Wyse and Suzie Hides put on a passing masterclass to combining well to put the team well ahead of all other teams on goal difference.
Their last game against Inverell was touch and go, with local girl Mandy McKeesick in their line-up and egging her girls to do their best to bring the Twisties down, but the team from FSC kept to their game and pulled off a 1-0 win to secure the trophy.
The association thanks all involved, especially umpires Jen Russell and Monique Meaker for volunteering their time for the weekend, and to Mel Lockerbie for her contribution in getting the local teams organised.
Jen has been coming along to Masters as the Associations umpire for around 12 years, and next year there’ll be big celebrations as she attends as a player for the first time.
The over 40s team also went through the tournament undefeated and conceding no goals thanks to great defence from Donna Moore, Shiralee Balcomb and Sharon Heffernan, and vocal goalie Tori Gardener.
With many players never having playing together before, the team combined well, and with only one substitute, it was tough going.
Bonding sessions and a tough training regime every night helped secure top spot at the end of the rounds.
Lucky to be still standing, the side showed up on Sunday morning to play a tough final against Griffith, in an even match with minimal scoring chances.
Finishing with a nil-all draw, the Far South Coast claimed the title of state champions thanks to their top-placing the groups stage.
Halves Donna Gilmour and Yvette Ringland held firm despite not getting much rest, and ‘Energiser bunny’ Vicky Marks just kept going and going in defence and attack.
Ex-Bega girl Alison Sirl ran hard and gained good ground on the wing, with Roxy Hopkins and Megan McAlister in support.
Kath Purcell's brilliant positioning created a couple of great goals, and helped the team come close to many more.
Umpire Monique Meaker doubled as over 40s coach in a mammoth effort, with Lynne Koerbin again providing great organisational support.