Alford, Cropper earn Australian Country selection
HOCKEY: City Bears midfielder Justin Alford has clinched a record sixth-straight gold medal at the Hockey Australia Country Championships with the NSW Country side.
Alford was also named in the Australian Country representative side for another year following the tournament.
The Grafton Hockey Association representative was integral in the sky blues' charge to another championship which they clinched with an emphatic 5-0 victory in the gold medal match against arch-rivals Queensland Country.
After a goalless opening 20 minutes, NSW quickly opened up a three-goal buffer with goals from Benjamin Ferguson (24'), Michael Dillon (25') and Luke Witchard (29').
Nicholas Milne (52') and Taylor Dolbel (68') added further goals to cap a dominant week for NSW.
Meanwhile fellow Grafton representative Tiahnee Cropper has emerged as a star of the future in the bush after she was named in the Australian Country Under-21 women's team.
Cropper played for NSW Country in Berri where they finished the tournament as silver medallists going down 1-0 to Queensland in the final. It was settled by Holly Gilbar's 10th minute field goal.
The Australian Country senior sides will play at the Hawkes Bay Hockey Festival in New Zealand, while Cropper's Under-21 outfit will line up at the Oceania Pacific Cup in Fiji.