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    The run to Wimmera hockey finals begin in earnest this week with round nine, which will see big games with several teams’ prospects on the line.

Pressure on hockey teams

By Simon King

The run to Wimmera hockey finals begin in earnest this week with round nine, which will see big games with several teams’ prospects on the line.

Following the final competition bye round for the season last weekend, teams now embark on a seven-week run to finals, starting with a big round of matches at Davis Park in Nhill on Saturday.

The ladder has a familiar look, with the teams currently in the same order they finished last season, but with all teams showing fluctuating form during the first half of the season, there is still plenty of time for this to change.

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When they met earlier in the season, Horsham Hurricanes fought out a draw with Yanac Tigers, but their form has dropped off with just one win since, while the Tigers are coming off a big win in their last start. 

This will be a challenge for the fourth-placed Hurricanes, who need a good performance to build their confidence if they are to become a threat in the finals. Nhill Rangers, who sit in fifth place and need a win if they are to stay in the finals race, have nothing to lose when they take on Warrack Hoops, so if they can get several key position players back who were unavailable last round, on their home ground they could push this opponent.

In contrast, the pressure will be on the Hoops, who are within reach of challenging the Tigers for the top of the ladder and will not want to drop this one.

Kaniva Cobras have the week off with the bye, but will follow the fortunes of the Rangers, who they will meet next week.


All three women’s matches will be significant, with the closeness of this competition making every result count as the teams look to claim a top two finish and the all-important second chance in the finals.

Yanac currently holds the top spot, but by just two points, and will be keen to avenge its loss to Horsham Jets earlier this season, while the team is still vulnerable to falling out of the top four and will need several more wins to ensure they play finals.

Kaniva and the Dimboola Roos go into their game locked on 22 points each, so the winner will move ahead outright into the top two and potentially the top spot if Yanac falters.

Both have shown good form in recent matches, which makes this one difficult to predict, but with Kaniva more at home on grass, it might go in as slight favourites.

The third game pits the two teams outside the top four against each other. 

A win for Nhill Thunderbirds will keep their slim chances of making the finals alive, while Warracknabeal has more ground to make up, but a loss would make it difficult to challenge for a top-four finish. 

The ’Birds should be too strong on their home ground, but if Warracknabeal is to spring a surprise, this might be it.


Yanac will also be looking to maintain its lead in under-16 competition when the Warriors take on the improving Horsham Bombers, and Warrack Revengers will have their work cut out for them when they face Nhill Leopards, who are striving to keep in touch with the top two.

Kaniva Raiders will keep their chances of claiming first place alive when they take on the young Dimboola Kangaroos.

The entire July 10, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!