Scoring proves just too tough

IT’S been a tough weekend for Albury-Wodonga’s capital league hockey teams, failing to find the back of the net in almost four hours of game time.

The Spitfires’ double-header in the national capital were one-sided contests, while the Strikers fell to Canberra Uni.

The Hockey Albury Wodonga women had dominated the first half but lost striker Maddison Horsburgh early in the second half to concussion.

Coach Tony Jones said they conceded just after their young forward was taken from the field.

“We are not sure whether it was a stick or an elbow but it was a knock to the head and she immediately started vomiting, had blurred vision,” he said.

“She was finally cleared from hospital on Saturday at 9pm after a CAT scan.

“In the first half we were all over them but just couldn’t get one to drop and when Maddi went off they scored and ended up with two tomahawk, back stick goals to win 3-0.

“The girls played terrific — Sam Daly had a good day, Chloe Jones was good, Kate Mason and Jade Mann all played well.”

Spitfires coach Matt Smart said they had been competitive for at least one half of both games despite being under-manned.

“Against St Patrick’s it was 6-0 at half-time, so we kept them to just one goal in the second half,” he said.

“Against United it was just 3-0 at the break and then they just ran over us.

“Our challenge all year has been getting the same squad on the park each week.

“At the weekend we had six or seven largely development players who we were asking to step up against these teams that have played together for years.

“They did their best but over 70 minutes of play there are times when you just lose your way.”

But Smart said the opportunity to play at a higher level had unearthed some future talent.

“Brandon Purtell really stepped up in only this third game at that level to get best on ground against United,” he said.

“On Saturday Andrew Wilkes was our best but Hugh Cullen and Jeremy Payne were also good.

“It would be great to see what this side was capable of doing if we had the full starting 16, week-in and week-out.

“I think we could beat most of the sides on our day but when you have ongoing injuries, you lose goal scorers and leaders you are going to struggle.”