Fiery hockey opponents lock horns



IT DOESN'T take much for Sparks and Meteors to fire up for a local derby, but with the two locked in a race for a CQ Extended League men's hockey semi-final spot, Rigby Park will be no place for the faint-hearted today.

The two Gladstone outfits share fourth spot on the premiership ladder, three points behind thirdplaced Southside United, following Meteors' upset victory over competition leaders CQU Wanderers last weekend.

Sparks missed their chance to move into outright fourth spot after going down 2-1 to Park Avenue Brothers despite dominating much of the play at Rigby Park last Saturday. And it may be the experienced hard-heads who decide the issue today.

Sparks pair Dean Gorda and Allan Baxter were in fine touch against Park Avenue while Meteors pair Craig Mathison and Joe Costelloe have struck a rich vein of form in recent weeks.

The teams featured in a fiery 1-1 draw when they last met in April, a goal from Sparks' Nathan Smith in the dying moments leaving the honours shared.

In women's A1 competition, Souths face life without inspirational leader Susan Aitkenhead-Brown, doubling up against Sparks and Meteors today.

Meteors hold a commanding nine-point lead at the top of the ladder but a brace of Souths victories would narrow the gap.

Today at Rigby Park: A1 men ? 2.20pm Meteors v Sparks; A1 women ? 1pm Souths v Sparks, 5pm Souths v Meteors. Today's full draw ? page 84.



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