Southern Highlands takes on Hockey NSW Girls State Championships in Taree

The Southern Highlands under-13’s team returned home from the Hockey NSW Girls State Championships with happy faces.

The team represented the Wingecarribee Shire in grade two hockey at the Taree Recreational Centre on July 6, 7 and 8.

Southern Highlands Coach Dan Parker described the competition as a mixed weekend, but said the girls played well and he was happy with their performance.

“They gave 100 per cent in each game,” Parker said.

Southern Highlands took to the field against Port Macquarie in the first game and walked off the turf with a 2-0 defeat, which Parker admitted was a slighty-behind start to the championships.

“They started off a bit nervous,” Parker said.

However the young hockey players didn’t let a rough start ruin their enthusiasm, and kept Hockey New England pointless with a 0-0 score. 

The team kept this momentum up, and came out of its third game with a 1-1 draw against Canberra. 

The Highlands’ Jess Temporali scored the first goal of the tournament. 

In the fourth game, the team had a tough time playing Orange who defeated Southern Highlands 4-0.

Southern Highlands representative teams coordinator Denise Horvath said the Highlands had given the game against Orange its best shot.

“We know the girls played a hard tournament,” Horvath said.

It was a long day on Saturday. The team was a little bit slow and got away from the opposition and it snowballed from there.

Coach Dan Parker

“It is a young team.

“A lot of the girls are new to the representative team and haven’t played at this level before.”

Parker said it was an “unfortunate result” for the Southern Highlands side.

“It was a long day on Saturday,” he said.

“The team was a little bit slow and got away from the opposition.

“It snowballed from there.”

The results left the Highlands in fifth place in the tournament.

Next, the team played in a decider against Northern Sydney and Beaches.

The Highlands won the game 1-nil. 

During the game, Highlands’ Tess Blenkinsopp hit the back of the goal for the team.

This placed the team in division two and secured its place for the 2019 state championships.

Parker said the game against Northern Sydney and Beaches was a great end to the championships.

“The girls played with great enthusiasm, had a great time and remained upbeat,” he said.

“We returned home with a bus full of happy kids with high spirits.”