Undermanned hockey sides square off



SPARKS outgunned Meteors 3-1 in Saturday's Gladstone District Hockey Association A1 men's encounter but with both sides understrength, it is debatable whether the result will count for much.

With both sides guaranteed a grand final spot in the two-horse race, Sparks and Meteors were set to meet in two rounds of fixtures (including last Saturday's match) and two semi-finals before contesting the decider.

The fact both sides went into Saturday's match undermanned meant it was a wasted chance to size each other up ? although they will get plenty more opportunities.

A Sparks outfit, minus coach Jason Burns and on-field leaders Allan Baxter and Warwick Smith, still had enough experience to overcome a Meteors line-up boasting several young players.

Matt Adamson continued his strong form for Sparks, scoring two of his side's goals while Nathan Smith added the other.

Mitch Ryan scored Meteors' lone goal in a match his father and coach Brett said had provided a valuable hit-out for young fill-ins.

Chris Proude and Jaryd Feehely, both aged 14 and who have impressed as regular reserves in the top grade this season, received more time than usual on the wing and in the centres respectively.

Another 14-year-old to impress was Luke Smith who also played in the halves for Meteors while Matt Lamberton was his side's best at fullback despite moving out of his accustomed role in the halves.



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