Top hockey stars

WINNERS: (Back) Under 15s Boys team members Matthew Holmes, Matthew Bern, Brayden Sampson and Dale Grinter. (Front) Under 18s Girls Emily Shiell and Olivia Watson.
WINNERS: (Back) Under 15s Boys team members Matthew Holmes, Matthew Bern, Brayden Sampson and Dale Grinter. (Front) Under 18s Girls Emily Shiell and Olivia Watson.

Local hockey players recently put their skills on display at the SA Regional Junior Hockey Championship, with the Under 15 boys team defeating teams from around regional SA to finish undefeated.

The results were very positive for both associations.

Kirsty Sampson.

Dale Grinter, Matthew Bern, Matthew Holmes and Brayden Sampson combined with players from Port Lincoln to put on a clinic at the event, winning their final by a score of 3-1.

Other grades also found success at the event, with the Under 15 girls (featuring Olivia Watson and Emily Shiell) and Under 18 boys finishing second and the Under 13 squad placing third.

The Whyalla/Port Lincoln combined teams took on sides from the Riverland, Barossa, Port Pirie, and South Coast in the competition, which was held at Stockwell in the Barossa Valley.

Team Manager Kirsty Sampson said she was excited to see the teams performing well.

“I think when we combine with Port Lincoln we become even stronger because they’ve got some really promising juniors down there too,” she said.

“Sometimes the kids get a bit lax when they play against the same people week-in week-out, so going up against other people they don’t normally play against is a bit more challenging.

“They tend to step up that little bit more, try a little bit harder and put in a lot of effort to be named the best regional team for that grade. They make a lot of good friendships out of it as well.”

Ms Sampson said all the teams gelled well, meaning they learnt to work together very quickly.

“By the second game they were gelling very well, and by the third or fourth game it felt like they had been playing together for a while,” she said.

“The results were very positive for both associations – both Port Lincoln and us – since we were able to put our talent on display and show what we can offer for regional hockey. “It was a really good weekend.”