Strikers delight after fight

September 13, 2017

Shepparton Striker Evan Collins and Shepparton Youth Club Scorcher Ryan Mackenzie contest for the ball in the Goulburn Valley Hockey Association’s A-men grand final on Saturday.

A-men premiers Shepparton Strikers (back) Evan Collins, Tom Alejandro, Tom Scholz, Xavier McBain, Ben Harman, Brad Winzer, Cameron Druitt, (front) Glen Russell, Tim Russell, Angus Press, Nathan McBain, Connor Holland and Stewart Tyquin.

B-men premier Benalla (back) John Chittick, Broden Dean, Thomas Hill, Dane Hansted, Anthony Couche, Evan Dowe, Nic Nowland, Alex Dowe, Travis Guerra, (front) Brandon Trevaskis, David McIntyre, Daniel Trevaskis, Martin Gillies, Robert Dean, Latham Carroll, Shaun Findlow and Perry Plex. Absent: Tyler Wright and Ankur Singh.

Shepparton Youth Club goalie Caleb Ellemor saves a Tim Russell shot at goal.

A-men best and fairest winners Jono Neilsen (Shepparton Youth Club) and Xavier McBain (Shepparton Strikers).

A thrilling Goulburn Valley Hockey Association A-men grand final excited crowds in Shepparton on Saturday.

In a rematch of this season’s Regional Hockey League decider, Shepparton Strikers and Shepparton Youth Club went head-to-head on the blue expanses of the Shepparton Sports Precinct’s hockey fields.

It was a different result at the final whistle this time though, with the Strikers exacting revenge for that early setback and going one better than last season’s second-placed finish.

‘‘It was a cracking game and certainly a real pleasure to be a part of,’’ Striker Tim Russell said.

‘‘It was a fantastic contest and would have been great to watch, a six-goal first half was really exciting.

‘‘That (last year’s grand final loss to Echuca-Moama) was a big motivator throughout the year, but especially after the RHL final.

‘‘We were found out in a few areas, but we have been able to work on them since then.’’

The Scorchers had all the early running in the clash, moving two goals ahead within minutes of proceedings starting.

But the Strikers then scored the next four goals to wrestle control back, and eventually hold on for the 4-3 triumph.

‘‘It’s been a real team effort throughout the year,’’ Russell said.

‘‘We’ve struggled for numbers some weeks and had some really fantastic contributions from our B-grade side which have been invaluable.’’

Xavier McBain (two goals) and Nathan McBain (one) did most of the damage in attack for the Strikers, while Evan Collins also found his way on to the scoresheet.

For the Scorchers, Ben Meates snared two majors and Jono Neilsen one, with the latter also cleaning up the individual awards with the grand final MVP and association best-and-fairest.

Teammate Matthew Irwin led the goal-scoring for the season, while Xavier McBain shared the best-and-fairest honours with Neilsen.

‘‘We’re building really well,’’ Russell said.

‘‘We’ve got some great young talent which we’ll look to hold on to and hopefully some older and experienced guys stick around and share some of that experience.’’

●The Scorchers could not find victory in the B-grade decider either, with Benalla taking a 2-0 win.

David McIntyre and Shaun Findlow delivered the successful blows for Benalla, with SYC’s Gary Bhullar named MVP.

Benalla also cleaned up in the association awards, with McIntyre (best-and-fairest) and Dane Hansted (leading goal-scorer) recognised for stellar seasons.



Strikers 4 d SYC 3

GOALS, Strikers: X. McBain 2, N. McBain, E. Collins. SYC: B. Meates 2, J. Neilsen.

MVP: J. Neilsen.


SYC 2 d Mooroopna 0

(Penalty shoot-out)

GOALS, SYC: M. Nicholson, M. Coffey.

MVP: M. Coffey.


Benalla 2 d SYC 0

GOALS, Benalla: D. McIntyre, S. Findlow.

MVP: G. Bhullar.


Echuca/Kyabram 2 d SYC 0

GOALS, Echuca: R. Costello, C. Kell.

MVP: N. Keen-Smith.


Umpires’ award: C. McDonald.


Best-and-fairest: Xavier McBain (Strikers)/Jonathon Neilsen (SYC).

Top goal-scorer: Matthew Irwin (SYC) 11.


Best-and-fairest: Hayley Pepperell (SYC).

Top goal-scorer: Molly Willmott (SYC) 7.


Best-and-fairest: David McIntyre (Benalla).

Top goal-scorer: Dane Hansted (Benalla) 17.


Best-and-fairest: Melissa Gillies (Benalla).

Top goal-scorer: Valerie Beis (Euroa)/Courtney Thompson (Echuca) 9.



Best-and-fairest: Xavier McBain (Shepparton Strikers) and Jono Neilsen (Shepparton Youth Club).

Top goal-scorer: Matthew Irwin (Shepparton Youth Club).


Best-and-fairest: David McIntyre (Benalla).

Top goal-scorer: Dane Hansted (Benalla).

Umpires’ Award: Craig McDonald.

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