Grafton kids come out on top in Tassie
HOCKEY: While the gold medals might have been shared by New South Wales and Western Australia, it was Grafton that came out on top at the Hockey Australia Under-13 National Carnival.
Grafton Hockey Association had six juniors at the tournament, which took over Hobart the past fortnight, with our players not coming any worse than fourth.
Sailors junior Breah Fischer took out the gold medal as part of the NSW Lions side after they finished the tournament with eight wins from 11 games.
It was the Lions defensive line, which featured Fischer, that was the side's most impressive facet, only letting in three goals compared to the 21 they put in at the other end.
Fellow Grafton girls Mackenna Ensbey and Jemma Whelan were part of the NSW Stars side that finished fourth in the girls draw having won six of their 11 games.
In the boys ranks, Grafton duo Jesse McGarvie and Keaton Stutt, who played in the NSW Stars side, finished with a silver medal after winning six of their 11 matches.
It could have been a much different story for the duo who finished up with four draws across the tournament, including against undefeated gold medallists Western Australia.
Stutt scored three goals across the tournament and was named player of the match in the Stars clash against Queensland Sabres, while McGarvie also scored a goal for NSW.
Sailors junior Josh Perry played in the NSW Lions side, and finished the tournament with a bronze medal with seven wins from 11 games.
GHA president Peter Fysh said it was a proud time for the association to have such a high representation at the National championships and said it was testament to the efforts of not only the players but also their support networks.
"The parents and families put in so much extra work to ensure these kids continue to succeed at the top level,” Fysh said. "They deserve all the accolades they can get.”
IT was also a big week for former Grafton hockey junior Grace Young who represented Australia at the 2018 Youth Olympics Hockey 5s tournament in Buenos Aires.
The Australian girls finished fifth in the tournament after losing a gruelling quarter-final to South Africa in shoot-outs.