Nepean Hockey Association finishes 3rd at State Championships

The Nepean Hockey Association sent a very young side to the NSW Boys U/15 Field State Championships in Grafton on 17-19th June, hoping to have a great tournament and enable the young players to learn from this great opportunity.

The composite Nepean team consisted of just 5 boys who were U/15’s, 5 x U/13 boys and 2 boys who are still U/11 players.

The first game against Illawarra was also the boys’ first game together as a team and although they played strongly throughout, a late goal from a short corner would see Illawarra win 1-0.

Game 2 against Orange ended in a 1-1 draw, with the boys stepping up in Game 3 to record a great 3-0 win over Hunter.

Team photo from Grafton. Photos supplied. 
Back Row: Karen Canning (Manager), CJ Honeman, Cody Rutten, Campbell Wilson, Harrison Canning, Hugh Niblett, Xavier Canning
Front Row: Elijah Eagleton, Julian Castle, Jonathan Price, Riley Justin, Beau Hughan, Tremayne Schmitt, Krys Dempster (Coach)

Game four was against the home team Grafton, which ended in a 2-1 loss for Nepean and an overall finishing position of 4th, albeit qualifying the team for the semi-finals and a re-match with Illawarra.

Nepean scored first in the semi-final, with Illawarra equalling just before half time to lock the score up at 1-1.

Two disallowed goals for Nepean in the second half would ultimately allow Illawarra to escape with a 1-1 draw and, being the higher-placed team, move on to the Final.

“A special mention goes to our three older boys Campbell Wilson, Harrison Canning and Cody Rutten, who all displayed great leadership and sportsmanship,” said coach Krys Dempster. “They now leave this age group to move up to U/18’s.

“Also a special mention to the youngest player Xavier Canning, who at 10 years of age put on the goalie pads and had an awesome tournament, only conceding 5 goals.

“This team showed pride in representing the Nepean Hockey Association and displayed great respect and sportsmanship towards officials and fellow players, finishing the tournament in 3rd position.”

The Nepean Under 15’s girls played their State championship in Parkes from 27th- 29th May and were unlucky not to win a game. 

Fielding a predominantly U13 team, Nepean improved each game, over the duration of the Championships, against older opponents.

Nepean lost 1-0 to Canberra, 3-0 to Sydney East, 1-0 to Bathurst, 5-0 to New England and 1-0 to Parkes.