HOCKEY was the real winner at the Albury Easter Carnival this weekend as organisers hailed the new-look event a success.
Carnival and special events director for Hockey Albury-Wodonga Tony White said the 61st carnival was all about colour and fun with plenty of good hockey played.
Ahead of their opening Capital League game on Anzac Day the Albury Spitfires used the tournament as a warm-up.
They only narrowly lost their grand final to Puki Monsters 2-1 with the winning goal scored in the final two minutes of the tournament.
But it took a team built of ringers from CSU, Sydney Uni and the Beverly Hillbillies to stop the Spitfires’ dominant run in the competition.
“I was proud of the Capital League guys taking it in the spirit and happily letting the others get the medals,” White said.
“We did stack a team against them — but it was a great weekend, there was a lot of positive feedback, lots of good fun and a good crowd watching some good hockey.”
The Spitfires ran a lot of their younger players and tried out combinations ahead of their season opener.
The Beverly Hillbillies Reunion Tour won the tournament march past which was judged by Albury deputy mayor Henk van de Ven who opened the competition.
The Hillbillies also won the mixed competition defeating the Multiple Scoregasms 2-1.
White said it was the oldest hockey carnival in Australia and he hoped it could relive some of its former glory, when at its height 145 teams took part.
“I’d just like to thank all the volunteers who helped put the event on,” he said.
“Especially operations manager Belinda Fraser, she’s put in a lot of hours, and a lot of volunteers — without them these events don’t happen.”