UNDEFEATED: Jackson Willie, 18, forms part of the U18 boys state team.
UNDEFEATED: Jackson Willie, 18, forms part of the U18 boys state team. Contributed

Tight turnaround for region's top junior jockey stars

IT WAS a tight turnaround for nine of the region's top junior hockey stars on the weekend who took the field at the under 18 State Team Challenge in Brisbane, straight off the back of a successful outdoor season.

But back-to-back hockey seasons kept the 17 and 18-year-olds on their toes.

Joshua Baxter, Zachary Lawrence, Jackson Willie and Lachlan Wilson leaving the under 18 State Team Challenge undefeated and winning the State Team Challenge after beating the Grizzlies 5-3 in the grand final.

Sarah Collins, Cassie Findlater, Amber Foster, Tayla Madden and Ebony O'Brien in the girls team played a round of strong games but tough competition saw them come in a well-deserved fifth.

They won two games, drew one but lost two very close games.

Rockhampton Indoor Hockey Association president Darrin Madden said the teams went in to the competition with limited training following the end of the outdoor season.

"The indoor season started straight away so there was limited preparation this year for all the players," Madden said.

"The girls were a bit unlucky this year and had two very tight games which was the difference in coming first or fifth.

"The girls all played really well but unfortunately the results didn't go their way."

Madden said the teams formed part of a traditionally strong Rockhampton hockey circuit.

The younger teams will be put to the test once more at the under 13 boys and girls State Team Challenge being played today and tomorrow at CQUni.

The Rockhampton teams will play against seven other regional centres.

Four girls are set to continue their success in under 13 Championship teams from last year, alongside one boy playing for the region once more.

"Last year we put numerous players up for the State Championships," Madden said.

"Nine girls and nearly the same number of boys, so they were pretty good numbers.

"We have a good history of producing high quality players.

"In indoor hockey, we play very well.

"We are on an equal basis with the very strong teams from the Brisbane area."



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