2014 - Round 18 Preview
Saturday 23 August 2014
At Anzac Park, Warracknabeal
Finals berths booked with one home and away round to go
With the final home and away round of Wimmera Hockey Association matches to be played this weekend the top four in each division have already booked their finals berths. Warracknabeal Hockey Club will host all nine Round 18 matches at Anzac Park on Saturday. The ladder order has not changed for four consecutive weeks and only minor changes are possible in the junior division following this round although the top four in each division will play finals.
In the early game the Kaniva Raiders take on the Nhill Leopards. The teams have only played once so far this season and it was a close one with Raiders coming out a couple goals in front, although Leopards were able to score a couple of goals themselves. If Leopards beat Raiders they could possibly jump into third position but at this stage it would not impact who their opposition will be in finals next week, but could be a confidence boost if they play well.
The two Dimboola junior teams are matched against each other and should enjoy a competitive game. The teams have only played once this season with Kookaburras just in front. Captain Lachlan Schultz has been leading the way for Kookaburras but might come up against some good opposition led by defender Zoe Pilmore who has been putting in consistent performances for Kangaroos in recent weeks. The teams are on the bottom of the junior ladder and this should be a fun way to see out their seasons.
Top junior team Yanac Warriors take on third placed Warrack Revengers which should be a good test for the teams before finals. Warriors came out five goals in front in their previous encounter but Revengers full back Colin Taylor has been shining in the second half of the season and may help keep the scores close. Warriors captain Todd Alexander has been leading the way all season for his all round strong team with solid performances on the forward line also scoring many goals. These two strong competitors in the junior division should be a good match up and will help make it a great game to watch.
Horsham junior team Bombers has the bye.
Fifth placed Warrack Women have missed out on a finals berth after needing a win last week. They have been gaining momentum in the second half of the season and played a strong game last week but were only able to achieve a draw which was not quite enough. Warrack take on Horsham Highlanders this week who have secured the fourth spot on the ladder and their finals berth but this will be no easy match. After losing the first two encounters Warrack came out strongly winning by a four-goal margin last time with Highlanders missing some key players. Since then Highlanders have enjoyed the return of key half back Launa Schilling who has strengthened the side again just in time for finals. Warrack will come out firing with Linley Arnold-Wardle on the forwardline playing top hockey in recent weeks and with a strong half back line working hard they will want to go out on a high. This should be a fast and skilful game to watch.
Kaniva Women will take on Nhill Thunderbirds for the fourth time this season with Thunderbirds having a good track record in these encounters. The third placed Thunderbirds have won by eight, nine and three-goal margins against the bottom team. This will be Kaniva’s final game for the season and they will give it everything they have to go out of the season on a high, still looking for that elusive win.
Dimboola Women and Yanac Women will play a finals preview. The top two teams will meet again next week in semi finals and could potentially meet again in the grand final. However Yanac may be missing a few key players this week and this may not be an accurate assessment of what may follow in the next few weeks. Dimboola’s Elizabeth Klinge has led her side strongly all season directing from centre half back and if she can help Dimboola deliver Yanac their first loss for the season this week it would be a great confidence boost for them going into finals. Yanac have already secured the minor premiership.
Fourth placed Dimboola Men will take on the unbeaten Yanac Tigers who have the minor premiership already under their belt. Top team Tigers had a draw last week and will come out firing for a win this week. Nathan Alexander at centre half back directs play well and Adam Clohesy has been an injection of speed and skill through the midfield in recent weeks. Dimboola have been gaining momentum at the right end of the season with Nathan Jorgensen at centre forward stepping up and been named best for the past five consecutive weeks, backed consistently by centre half back brother Tim and together with the return of James Klinge the side has opened up and strengthened. Tigers winning margin has dropped from six unanswered, to four, to one goal last encounter. This could be a tough match between two skilful teams and a good test for both before finals next week.
Third placed Kaniva Cobras will play bottom team Nhill Rangers. Cobras will still not be quite at full strength and this should be a fast game and a competitive way to finish the season for Rangers.
Second placed Warrack Hoops will play Horsham Hurricanes in the lower order. Hoops have a good track record against the Hurricanes but it should still be a fast match with some good skills on show.
Finals venues announced
Finals venues for the first two rounds of finals have been announced following submissions by clubs. Semi Finals on 30 August will be hosted by Yanac Hockey Club and held at Yanac. Preliminary Finals on 6 September will be held at Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre, hosted by Warracknabeal Hockey Club. The Grand Finals on 13 September, as have been previously set on the roster system, will be hosted by Kaniva Hockey Club, and held at Kaniva Recreation Reserve.
- Rachel Clark, WHA Records Secretary 2014
Round 18 Draw
Saturday 23 August 2014
At Anzac Park, Warracknabeal
9.30am Kaniva Raiders vs Nhill Leopards; 11am Dimboola Kookaburras vs Dimboola Kangaroos; 12.30pm Yanac Warriors vs Warrack Revengers; 2pm Kaniva Women vs Nhill Thunderbirds; 3.30pm Kaniva Cobras vs Nhill Rangers.
9.30am Hook in 2 Hockey; 11am Warrack Women vs Horsham Highlanders; 12.30pm Dimboola Men vs Yanac Tigers; 2pm Dimboola Women vs Yanac Women; 3.30pm Warrack Hoops vs Horsham Hurricanes.
Hook in 2 Hockey: on Field 2 at 9.30am.
Bye: Horsham Bombers