GALLERY: Gladstone U13 boys finish state titles on a high
HOCKEY: The Gladstone Under-13 Boys hockey side ended their 2017 State Championships campaign on a high after winning their final playoff match yesterday.
As one of the youngest sides at the titles, the Gladstone boys fought hard throughout the entire four days of competition and were rewarded with two wins to secure ninth spot in Division 1.
The team started the championships with opening day defeats against Townsville (4-2) and Ipswich (7-3).
Day two saw 1-0 and 3-0 losses against Rockhampton and Toowoomba with the first game of day three a 3-0 loss to Fraser Coast.
Not deterred by failing to score in three-straight matches, Gladstone made a bright start in its crossover pool game against Brisbane 2, jumping to a 4-1 half-time lead before holding on to win 4-3.
Gladstone's final match was a battle for ninth spot against Mackay with the home team making a perfect start to the contest via a goal to captain Ryley Bobart.
Bobart doubled the lead four minutes into the second half, but a Mackay goal six minutes before full-time ensured some nervous moments on the sideline for the Gladstone coaching staff.
However Gladstone managed to hold on to end the tournament on a winning note.
Coach Shannon Bobart was pleased with how Gladstone faired at the championships, despite having the majority of his side aged 11 or younger.
"I'm very impressed with how they've all improved over the course of the weekend,” Bobart said.
"I'll be really interested to see what their hockey is like for the rest of the season when they go back to their club matches.
"There's eight of them involved who are still with the U11s. If that core sticks together for the next two to three years we can look forward to some much better results.
"They'll be a very formidable team once they get into the age group and should be in.
"Given their age and given the size of them I think ninth (place) is respectable.”
Ryley Bobart finished the titles with seven goals, Will Price and Lachlan Blackmore scored two each.
U13 Boys State Championships
Game 1: Townsville 4 defeated Gladstone 2 (Ryley Bobart 2)
Game 2: Ipswich 7 defeated Gladstone 3 (Will Price, Ryley Bobart, Lachlan Blackmore)
Game 3: Rockhampton 1 defeated Gladstone 0
Game 4: Toowoomba 3 defeated Gladstone 0
Game 5: Fraser Coast 3 defeated Gladstone 0.
Game 6: Gladstone 4 (Ryley Bobart 2, Lachlan Blackmore, Will Price) defeated Brisbane #2 3
Game 7: Gladstone 2 (Ryley Bobart 2) defeated Mackay 1.