The disappointment of the loss to WA was brushed aside with an excellent performance against Tasmania. The result was quite meritorious because we played without key players Cranston, Clucas and Dillon and after McConnell was injured in the first minute and played no further part in the match. Once again, a cold wind and light rain threatened our enjoyment of the game, but the twelve fit players were more determined than ever to achieve a good result.
Even though TAS gave us more space than other teams, we passed the ball well and played an attacking style of hockey for the full game. Keith Jervis, in a performance not unlike one that we would expect of the legendary Jamie Dwyer, scored a brilliant goal and thereafter was a constant threat to the Tasmanian defence.
"Professor" Phil Younger had a fine match at centre half and demonstrated his range of hockey wizardry with great tapping, body get]ints and deft passes that had the crowd in awe and the Tasmanians befuddled. Skipper Bruce Snape also had an excellent match.
It was a happy team as the final whistle was blown.
There may have been some serious sunspot activity yesterday as our team performance was not what was expected. Perhaps the very hard match against QLD was a factor.
WA was the better team on the day. Their players were given too much room and passed the ball around very well. We made several good circle penetrations but were unable to score. A couple of minor mistakes allowed WA the opportunity to convert.
However, all is not lost as we learned a lot about how WA will play if we meet them in the final.
The major downside from the match was the injuries to three key players - Denis Cranston (Hamstring), Russell Clucas (Ribs) and Ron Dillon (Hamstring). They will be receiving treatment over the next three days and will be rested from our final pool match against TAS on Wednesday. We need to win that match to achieve first place on the points table before the semi-finals on Thursday
A good first quarter set the foundation for a grinding 2-0 victory over Queensland and leave our team undefeated after 5 matches.
Dennis Cranston and Noel French both scored before the break and, although we had the better of play for the rest of the match, we were unable to trouble the scorers any further.
The team continues to improve and some aspects are getting sharper.
Best for us today were Phil Younger, Noel French, Ray Northwood, Bruce Snape and Rick McConnell.
We play WA on Monday evening and this clash should provide an opportunity to assess our level of improvement against a skilful and well-structured opponent.
The annual match against the Victorians is one of the highlights of this great tournament and in 2017 we produced an excellent team performance to win 5-1. Our players moved the ball around the field with precision and found plenty of space around the flanks. Our marking and tackling was at high standard and forced many turnovers by the opposition.
Cranston and Snape had complete control of the midfield and set up numerous raids through the Victorian defence.
Russell Clucas scored our first goal with a great flick from a penalty corner in the 15th minute and this was quickly followed up just two minutes later when Bruce Snape also converted from another penalty corner.
Trevor Dancer combined brilliantly with Noel French in a wonderful piece of play down the left flank where they eliminated several defenders before Noel scored his first gaol of the championships. After 25 minutes of dominance we were leading 3-0.
The second and third quarters were played in light rain and play was evenly-balanced. David Peebles was doing his best to keep the Victorians in the match, but our defence was able to quash their attacking moves. Jervis, Dillon, Rounlsey, Joyce and McConnell were steadfast.
Rusty scored a fourth just before three-quarter time and Noel completed a double with a neat finish in the 68th minute.
The coach was a little unhappy with the mindslip in our defence in the 67th minute that gave possession to that man Peebles who set up an opportunity for their centre forward who converted from a tight angle.
Overall a really great performance that uses NSW on top of the table after QLD slipped up with a draw against a dogged SA.
We beat WAC 3-0 after a tough match where perseverance and patience against a willing WA Country team which defended stoutly with the 10-man defence. Such was the extent of the opposition's typical approach that it was not until the 36th minute that Rusty Clucas scored our first goal and thereby settled our nerves somewhat.
The match was played in our opponent's half of the pitch for then greater part of the 70 minutes but circle penetrations were difficult to procure. However, we persisted and Darrell Parvin scored a double in the 54th and 66th minutes to produce a fitting rest - one that adequately demonstrated our dominance and which was good reward for our efforts.
Our team is improving with every match as players become familiar with the structure and the game plans.
It was an almighty struggle against a game ACT team lead purposefully by John Nicholas and Denis Lovell. We are continuing to learn how this new team fits together, while at the same time, trying to preserve our energy and fitness for the second week.
We dominated the match in many aspects and created at least 30 goal-scoring chances. Unfortunately, the ACT goalkeeper had a real blinder and made many saves. We missed the net with too many shots.
ACT played four high strikers and hoped to break our defence with the typical long ball game.
We made one mistake in the first quarter and after conceding a penalty corner, John Nicholas converted with a hot shot. This was the only shot at goal that ACT had during the match.
Perserverance and patience eventually paid off when we score twice in the last ten mines through Peter McGarry and Darrel Parvin. A well-deserved victory!
Best on filed were Kevin Joyce, Keith Jervis and Ron Dillon.
On a cold but sunny morning on the blue pitch at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre warming up
was quite a lengthy process; and I fear that most of us were still cold at the end of the match.
We welcomed Dennis Cranston, Rick McConnell, Kevin Joyce, Peter McGarry and Paul Rounsley
into the team for the 2017 championships.
We had the better of play generally and play was mostly contained to the SA half of the pitch. We were all in need of a good run and hit-out and I think that we achieved that aim. Skipper,
Bruce Snape had a little more of a "hit" than was planned when he was struck by an opponent's stick in the forehead during the third quarter of the match. A few stitches were needed.
Dennis Cranston had a good day, netting a double, the first with a delightful back stick shot
and the second from a penalty stroke. Keith Jervis scored our third goal during the third
Everyone played well with Cranston, Snape, Jervis, McConnell and Clucas being standouts.
Photographs from all of our matches can be found at the following link -Scroll down to NSW65s