The last group that went farther north than the Redbacks on the weekend was the expedition of Burke and Wills in 1861. There the similarities end because the Redbacks returned and brought home with them their third clean sweep of the season.
St Columban’s has had a habit of being a thorn in the side of Ormiston Hockey in the past so the end result of five wins, with nineteen goals for and two against was very pleasing to say the least. That this was achieved on a wet day and a less than perfect pitch speaks volumes for the way the Redbacks are playing the game this year.
The team to watch at the moment is the Year 7s, guided by super coach, Miss Hammond. They sit on top of the ladder undefeated after four rounds and enjoyed a six - one victory against the Caboolture mob. Goals were scored by Olivia Sullivan (2), Ellie Teodorczuk (2), Lucy Thomson and Jamie Lesser. The side scored early and never really let the opposition into the game in a serious way. Jacinta Fisher was the MVP and she proved to be a tireless worker all over the field. Scarily, there is still improvement in this team with a stronger focus needed on positional play and keeping the ball out of the centre so much. These could well be the final pieces to fall into place in the premiership-winning puzzle.
Year 8 won 2 – 1 in a match which was much closer than it needed to be. The Redbacks went ahead early through goals to Charlotte Lane and Claudia Van der Veen but then inexplicably took their foot off the pedal. A goal by St Columban’s led to the girls digging deep and holding onto their lead. The defence held strong and played together as a unit and the team as a whole worked hard to play to Coach Garnett’s game plan. The MVP was shared this week by Charlotte Lane and Sophie Lynch. This week’s match sees second play fourth with OC taking the favourites tag into the match.
The Year 9s continued on their winning way after last week’s goalless draw, with a two nil result. The game had a Jekyll and Hyde feel about it as the team passed the ball around beautifully in the first half and had complete control of the match. Half time can be a curse sometimes as the second period saw the fluency disappear and the girls had to dig deep to hold out a determined opposition. Overall, though the positives outweighed the negatives and co- coaches Harris and Ray believe that with a focussed effort for the entire match they will be difficult to beat in the back end of the season. Manager Michael Farnworth will continue to exhort the girls into realising their premiership potential. Goals were scored by Emma Johnston and Annelise Hill and the MVP was a determined Ella Burton.
The Seconds also had a two nil win, implementing the match plan of playing consistently down our right hand side very effectively. They combined well as a team and attacked constantly, virtually pitching a tent in St Columban’s half. The support play was a particular highlight with players covering for one another with great success. Co-coaches and former OC Hockey stars Kritzinger and Mulder believe that this was probably their most consistent game of the season and the team is working really hard to stay focussed for the full game. Goals were scored by Hebe Walshaw and Katie Jones who hit a beauty, right into the corner of the goal from a penalty corner. Another non-stop performance saw Katie Jones earn the MVP award.
The Firsts had their most productive match of the last two seasons beating their opposition seven goals to nil. Goals went to Katelyn Dunsmuir (3), Natasha Pimley (2), Emily Ellis and Sally Ware (her third goal in four games) in a very convincing performance. The team is starting to grow into the new system they are using and it is allowing us to unleash a number of attacking alternatives from inside and outside the attacking 25. It was particularly pleasing to see us not just creating chances but actually taking them as well. Our defence was solid with St Columban’s only entering our defensive circle once in the match and their delivery of the ball forward was excellent. Shay Brechbuhler got through a lot of work and adapted well to a number of different positions. The MVP was the hat trick queen, Katelyn Dunsmuir. Results in other matches have opened this competition right up and our destiny is now in our own hands. CHAC will be a challenge based on results to date and our nail biting win against them last season but the girls are showing improvement every week.
Our lowest placed OC teams are currently equal second (Years 8 and 9 and the two Opens teams) and the Year 7s are top of the table so this will be another big week as we strive to maintain our momentum moving into the derby against JPC and then the dangerous Canterbury College. However, those matches are still on the horizon, too far to worry about yet though as we have to deal with a tenacious CHAC first. What odds they go the same way as Burke and Wills? Time will tell.