The Gulf Under 13 girls hockey team has won hearts at the state championships being staged at Rigby Park this week.
The Gulf Under 13 girls hockey team has won hearts at the state championships being staged at Rigby Park this week.

The comeback kids

By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au

THEY may not have won any games yet, but the Gulf under-13 girls hockey team certainly have won a few hearts at the state championships being staged at Rigby Park.

Like a scene out of Cool Runnings the Gulf team, featuring players from across the Gulf of Carpentaria, have earned the respect of players and officials alike.

Starting the competition by getting beaten by as much as 16-0, the Gulf team finished their match against Gladstone 2 yesterday, with huge smiles, going down only 2-0.

Coach Wes Ferns said he was very proud of the way the girls had improved across the carnival and expected big things for some.

"They love it, they are meeting people and making new friends,'' he said.

"We got our first attacking short corner in two years today, it was great.'' It took the Gulf team three days to travel to the carnival.

Some of the girls are as young as nine years old, while others had not picked up a hockey stick before the carnival.

"We don't have a choice where we're from, we take any kids who are keen,'' said team official Anita Casey.

Gladstone 2 coach Angela Jeynes was pleased with the result against the Gulf side yesterday, believing all players performed well. "It's very difficult to single out anyone,'' she said.

Gladstone 1 were unlucky to get beaten in both their games yesterday.

The local team were beaten 1-0 by Tweed Border in their first game. Coach Stewart Rach said the standout was goal keeper Katie Pittendreigh and Claire Hethwood upfront.

Gladstone 1 were also narrowly defeated by Brisbane 2 1-0, with the winning goal scored with just three minutes to go.



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