BRONZE STICKS: Gladstone under-18s girls’ hockey team returned from the State Championships with bronze medals after excelling.
BRONZE STICKS: Gladstone under-18s girls’ hockey team returned from the State Championships with bronze medals after excelling. Submitted

Hockey girls grab bronze

GLADSTONE representative hockey coach Nathan Smith said the side had an unsettled build-up to the championships due to rain, player sickness and training facilities not up to the latest standards.

But the under-18 team soundly defeated Redlands 8-0, and Marybough2 2-1, and had a 1-all draw with Ipswich 2.

“I’m very proud of my team to overcome this and get such a strong result from the championships,” Smith said. “We finished third in division two on points and gave ourselves every opportunity to play in the grand final with strong pool games.”

The first loss of the weekend was to division two final favourite Sunshine Coast 1-2.

“We came away from the loss with our heads very high as we fought hard to the end only a little bit of turf experience letting us down,” Smith said.

“I can’t question their want to win and determination but we were let down again from lacking in facilities.”

Smith said this would not be an issue in the future as Gladstone in 2011 will have its own turf and finally the kids of tomorrow will get full benefit from this.

Gladstone played off against Brisbane three in the semi-final, where fitness played a key role.

“We played our close rivals Rocky in the bronze medal play-off, this should have been won by Rocky as they have all the latest facilities to play and train on week in and week out,” Smith said.

“But again the talent this town has to show in woman’s hockey came to the forefront with a 2-all draw. My girls really wanted to finish strong after such a good weekend and I think they did that.”

The wheels are already in motion for the 2011 championships, Smith said, and a large squad will be chosen early next year.

“Our team goals are to win division two and get Gladstone’s hockey name back in division one.” Smith said the team and managers were to be commended for their hard work and commitment.



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