Grafton girls reach finals of NSW state championships
HOCKEY: They may have been a young team, but the Grafton Hockey Association's under-18s side showed plenty of fight and spirit at the Hockey NSW Steggles Under-18 Girls Field State Championships over the weekend.
Playing at Taree, the GHA girls team finished second in their pool and recorded an 8-1 win over Illawarra South Coast 2 and a 3-0 win over Hockey New England, before falling 0-4 to Parkes and drawing 1-1 with Sydney East 1.
The girls reached the semi-finals, but a 2-1 loss against Manning Valley in the semi-final saw them exit the competition.
Coach Rick Fischer said the girls did themselves proud during the tournament, and would learn from the experience.
"I was confident they could have won the competition if they had of won that game, but it wasn't to be,” he said.
"While it was a bit disappointing for the girls they were such a young side and I imagine it will be pretty much the same team except for one girl that will be picked in the side next year.
"They learnt a lot about how quick U18s can be, but they weren't a selfish team, there was no individuals, they all worked really well together and were a pleasure to coach.”
Fischer said he believed the girls exceeded their own expectations coming into the state championships.
"They were disappointed with the game against Manning Valley, it's always disappointing to just lose a game like that but to their credit they took it in their stride,” he said.
"They can definitely hold their heads high, they did themselves proud.
"I think they've shown a lot of potential and I can definitely see them going on and winning this tournament next year,” he said.
"For such a young team to do as well as they did it was fantastic, and they will take a lot from this experience.”