Heaps of hockey action this weekend

Rachel Lee (Thunder) and Dave Spence (Port City) are ready for their hockey grand finals this weekend.A WOMEN’S A grade local derby will be one of the mouth watering match-ups on a big Port Macquarie Hastings Hockey Association grand final weekend at the Koala Street fields.
Nanjing Night Net

Port City will take on Tacking Point Thunder at 2.30pm tomorrow in what should be a tight affair.

Thunder has a youthful side which could trouble City with its pace, while Port will look to use its experience to out-think the opposition.

Midfielders April Trickett and Angela van Zeeland will look control things for City. Strikers Jennifer Ko and Chloe Stewart can then put some in the goal.

City beat Thunder 2-0 just two weeks ago to go straight to the grand final, but coach Simon Thresher said it was always close between the two teams.

“Hot and cold,” he said of his team.

“We’d win one, and they’d win one.”

He sees a couple of dangers in the Thunder outfit.

“They’ve got a couple of state squad members,” Thresher said.

Thirty-five minute halves in the heat of a Port Macquarie spring could make things difficult for both sides.

Thresher said the emphasis would be on strategic play and possession in the full-side version of hockey.

“Holding onto the ball and passing,” he said.

“It’s definitely about patience.”

“You look for a result when you get inside the circle, not just the goal. It could be a penalty corner, a penalty stroke or a goal.”

Thunder defender Rachel Lee was confident of a result in her team’s favour.

“On paper, we should win it,” she said.

“But it’s all about on the day, not on paper.”

She was also worried about her opposition’s speed.

“The Port City strikers are young and fast,” she said.

“But I’m old and fast.”

The men’s A grade final between Port City and Wauchope follows the women at 3.55pm.

The super nines format of the men’s promises a faster and open style of play.

City hasn’t beaten Wauchope yet this season, but there have been a couple of draws between the two sides.

Midfielder Dave Spence said confidence was the key to his team getting the win.

“We’ll win,” he said.

“You’ve got to be confident.”

He said the team would have its work cut out.

“Wauchope has been the strongest team by far,” Spence said.

Port City has struggled to put the ball in the goal against Wauchope this year. It’s something the team will have to fix if it’s to win tomorrow.

Youngsters Henry Ausling and Lewis O’Neil are up front.

“There’s a fair bit of weight on their shoulders this weekend,” Thresher said.

The Hough brothers, Luke and Bryce, will be considerable threats for Wauchope.

Thresher is also the association president. He said it was great to see plenty of clubs represented on the biggest day of the hockey season.

“Particularly Camden Haven,” he said.

“Camden Haven have really stood out this year. They are in the B and C men’s finals.”

Port City having teams in both A grade deciders was a fantastic achievement, Thresher said.

He also praised Thunder and Wauchope.

“It’s Wauchope’s first foray into A grade and they’re in the grand final,” Thresher said.

Under 7s gets the day off to a great start at 7.45am. The men’s B grade final between Camden Haven and Tacking Point Thunder Cougars is the last match. It’s set down for 5.10pm.

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