Tamworth and New England players enjoy National U15s Hockey Championship success

TOP TALENT: Jake McCann, Nathan Czinner, Lily Neilson and Chelsea Thornton competed at the under 15 National Hockey Championships in Hobart.

TOP TALENT: Jake McCann, Nathan Czinner, Lily Neilson and Chelsea Thornton competed at the under 15 National Hockey Championships in Hobart.

Armidale talent have secured National U15s Hockey Championship success on and off the field.

Jake McCann and Nathan Czinner won gold with their NSW State boys side in a playoff against Victoria, while Lily Neilson and Chelsea Thornton finished fourth with the NSW Blues side. 

Czinner, who was captain of the side, was named player of the tournament. 

Neilson had her radar on, scoring eight goals for the tournament including four in the first game to be the Blues’ top goal-scorer and second overall.

McCann put NSW ahead in the 13th minute with his seventh goal of what was a sterling tournament for the young striker.

Victoria hit back in the final minute of the first half, but NSW reclaimed the lead four minutes into the second half. The Blues side, which Tamworth’s Nick O’Connor played for and New England’s Ben Hanlan was assistant coach of, finished fifth after beating Queensland 2 in their play-off game 5-3.

Newcastle’s Seb Rollings finished as the top-scorer thanks to a haul of nine goals.

In the girls bronze play-off, the State side led 1-nil at half-time and extended that to two in the 54th minute, but the Blues, who were coached by former Hockeyroo Kate Jenner, replied in the 60th minute to keep the pressure on to the final whistle.

 Tamworth’s Martin Courtney was also the boys tournament director, while former Kookaburras captain Michael York was assistant coach of the ACT boys.

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