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05 May 2021
By SIMON KING
For the second week in a row, Wimmera hockey teams will battle on the synthetic pitch at Dimboola Health and Fitness Centre.
Although it is only the fourth round and there is still a long way to go in the season, several important games are scheduled.
The open competition’s three games all have significance this week, with every team playing an opponent adjacent to them on the ladder.
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The top two teams, Yanac Tigers and Nhill Rangers, meet in a twilight game with the winner taking a clear lead on the ladder.
The other two teams that make up the top four, Warrack Hoops and Kaniva Cobras, will both want a win when they clash to ensure they remain in the four and in touch with the leaders.
Two teams yet to win a game this year, Dimboola Burras and Horsham Hurricanes, will also be playing to stay within reach of those above them.
Last week, Yanac Tigers enjoyed one of their most significant victories in recent seasons, with a four-goal win over Warrack Hoops.
After an even first half in which neither team scored, Oskar Bennett of the Hoops opened the scoring by converting a penalty corner two minutes after the break.
Ethan Anderson equalled the scores five minutes later and Bradley Alexander put the Tigers ahead soon after.
Three more goals to the Tigers set their final total at five goals while restricting the Hoops to just one.
Kaniva Cobras and Horsham Hurricanes also put on a memorable performance after both came into the game looking for their first win for 2021.
It took until the last minute of the game to confirm who would take the points.
In an even game, the Hurricanes opened scoring 20 minutes into the game, establishing a lead that they took beyond the half-time break.
The Cobras evened the scores eight minutes into the second half and with the game heading for a tie, a rebound from the Hurricanes goalkeepers’ pads in the last minute of the match and a quick return hit broke the deadlock.
Improving Nhill Rangers scored three goals to Dimboola Burras’ one to record a comfortable win and move to second place on the ladder.
Another top-of-the-table clash in a women’s division will be the feature game of the round.
Yanac Women and Nhill Thunderbirds are showing good early season form to suggest this will be a close game.
As with the equivalent clash in the open division, the winner will take the outright lead on the ladder and the bragging rights against an opponent that could stand between them and the 2021 premiership.
Neither Dimboola Roos nor Horsham Jets have tasted victory this year, so a good performance in their clash in the late game under lights could get their seasons back on track.
Both squads feature match-winning players, so a significant factor will be the personnel each one puts on the field on Saturday evening.
Last week Kaniva controlled most of the play in its encounter with Horsham Jets, scoring three times while keeping the Jets scoreless.
In the other game, Dimboola Roos finished five goals behind the now second placed Nhill Thunderbirds.
In the first under-16 game of the round, Kaniva Raiders and Warrack Revengers will be keen to record their first win for the season.
Nhill Leopards, refreshed after a week off with a bye, have the daunting task of taking on the undefeated Yanac Warriors.
A development program will feature three games involving the next generation of Wimmera hockey players in the 12.30pm time slot.
Horsham Bombers continued to build on their impressive early season form last week with an eight-goal victory over Kaniva Raiders.
Yanac Warriors are only two points behind after a solid six-goal win over Warrack Revengers.
The entire May 5, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!