Border hockey sides impress at Senior Country Championships

HOMEGROWN TALENT: Hockey Albury-Wodonga exports Jessie Nixon, Grace Ronnfeldt, Sam Daly, Sam Campbell, Georgia McCormick, Eloise McCormick and Eryn Norie celebrate their victory in the Senior Country Championships.
HOMEGROWN TALENT: Hockey Albury-Wodonga exports Jessie Nixon, Grace Ronnfeldt, Sam Daly, Sam Campbell, Georgia McCormick, Eloise McCormick and Eryn Norie celebrate their victory in the Senior Country Championships.

Hockey Albury-Wodonga returned with plenty of silverware from the Senior Country Championships held in Melbourne and Geelong across the long weekend.

The Border’s open women’s and master men’s sides claimed gold medals, the open men won silver, while the second masters team finished fifth.

An undefeated run through tournament for the women’s outfit culminated in a 4-0 defeat of Geelong in the decider.

The scores were locked at 0-0 at half-time, before a second half blitz from the Border side saw them romp to victory.

Captain Georgia McCormick said it felt as if they had been playing together for years.

“It was good having all the girls from Albury, Bendigo and Geelong come together,” she said.

“It was really good hockey, no-one played a bad game and everyone stepped up under pressure.

“Almost everyone in the team scored goals across the weekend and we only had two scored against us the whole tournament.

“We played Geelong in the grand final last as well and lost, so it was good to get a win over the home team.”

Goal-scorers in the final were Grace Ronnfeldt, Sam Daly, Chelsie Hird and Isobel Campigli.

WHAT A WEEKEND: Hockey Albury-Wodonga's masters men brought home gold after impressing at the Senior Country Championships.

WHAT A WEEKEND: Hockey Albury-Wodonga's masters men brought home gold after impressing at the Senior Country Championships.

The masters men overcame Central Victoria, 3-1, in a hard-fought final to go through the weekend unbeaten.

After trailing early, the side squared the contest at 1-1 at half-time, before two late goals to claim the title.

The result was even more impressive considering the masters side didn’t reach the final at last year’s tournament.

“We had a few more players put their hand up this year and a few younger vets which was good,” team manager Craig Pontt said.

As a result of their performances, Jeremy Payne, Charley Wallace, Hugh Cullen and Leigh Foulston all made the men’s Victorian Country team.

The women’s squad will be announced later in the week.

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