Hockey New England's under 15 teams took on the state's best at the recent NSW Indoor State Championships.
From January 14 to 17, the girls and boys teams played in the tournament in Orange
The girls played Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Division 3. The girls played extremely well and gelled as a team.
They first played a very very strong Nepean team who had three state players in their line up. They went into the last quarter 4-3 down, however the Nepean team switched it up a gear and came away 7-3 winners.
The scoreline didn't reflect the intensity of the game. Then they played Central Coast. The girls played really played well and the scoreline reflected it, finishing as 11-0 winners.
The girls then played Sydney Northern Beaches. At half time the girls were 3-2 up. After half-time they really stepped up the pace and came away with a 7-2 win.
The final game on Sunday morning was against Coffs Coast. The girls were coming equal second on the ladder with Coffs, but ahead on goal averages. They needed to draw or win to go through to the grand final. Coffs scored two very quick goals in the opening stages of the game. HNE were unable to get anything past the Coffs keeper. The girls had the majority of the play and had at least 50 shots on goal. Unfortunately the girls lost 2-0, so that placed them third just out of grand final contention. The girls scored a massive 29 goals over the three days and only conceded 15.
A pretty young boys team began their championship on Saturday.
They started with a game against Nepean and were on fire. They gelled well as a team and came away 21-0 winners. The second game was against Port Macquarie. Scores were tight for the first quarter, but then the boys relaxed and ended up as 8-2 winners. Their third game was against Sydney South. This game went end to end. A really hard fought game. It was well into the game before the first goal was scored. The HNE boys managed to finish as 5-0 winners. Their hardest round game was against Bathurst. Bathurst snuck ahead 4-3 with only minutes on the clock remaining. With 10 seconds to go HNE were awarded a penalty corner and converted after the buzzer to make it 4-4.
The boys went into the last round game against Orange pretty relaxed.
At the end of first quarter it was 2-1, a relaxed quarter time chat must have worked because the boys came out on fire and ended the game 11-3 winners.
The boys had cemented their first spot. They met Bathurst in the grand final.
This game did not disappoint. It was end to end hockey. Edge of your seat stuff.
It was 3-3 at full time. Went into three one-on-ones each. Scores were still locked at the end of this. It then went into golden goal one-on-ones. HNE ended up 6-5 winners and under 15s boys State Champions. The boys scored a massive 55 goals over all the games and conceded only 15.
It will be exciting with the under 13s State Championship at the end of January where five of this team back up for under 13s.
Armidale's Archie Clarke also umpired the Division 1 championship, and was awarded the Division 1 Semi Final.
Armidale's Cathleen Hislop was also the Tournament Director.
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