Hockey | Spitfires have plenty of fight but no win

THE Spitfires have produced some of their best and worst hockey and all in 24 hours.

On Saturday the Hockey Albury Wodonga men went down 2-0 against an opposition that included three players from the ACT’s national hockey league side.

Coach Matt Smart said it was their best game of the year.

“We fought it out for the entire 70 minutes it really could have gone either way,” he said.

“Hugh Cullen, Scott Foley, Fraser Cullen just about everyone who played were all knackered by the end of it — they played terrific.

“But Jeremy Payne did his hamstring, Tony Donnolley did his quad and it all fell apart on the Sunday.

“We just weren’t switched on — there was no accountability, we didn’t mark up.

“The weather was horrible — it rained right through the game but that is not an excuse. Ben Allen was our best and he had returned from England on Saturday night and looked like he hadn’t even travelled.”

Smart said it was another example of where the Spitfires had failed to back up in a double header.

“We need to get a culture of backing up — this year every double header we have been competitive on day one and then just don’t turn up for the next day,” he said.

“I’m already looking to next year, we’ll start training in November to make sure they are fit and ready to go.

“We should keep most of the squad from this year but hope to get some of the experienced players back as well.”

Strikers coach Tony Jones said it was the game that got away.

“We started really well, led 2-1 at half-time and I really thought we had the game in our own hands,” he said.

The Spitfires and Strikers finish their Capital League year on the road this weekend in Canberra.

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