Action during the round 1 Grafton Hockey Association clash between A Grade sides McAuley White and Barbs Helgas on Saturday, July 18, 2020.
Action during the round 1 Grafton Hockey Association clash between A Grade sides McAuley White and Barbs Helgas on Saturday, July 18, 2020.

HOCKEY WRAP: Juniors raring to go as seniors return

SATURDAY saw the start of hockey for the 2020 season.

COVID restrictions and a shortened fixture list has caused some significant changes to teams but has not diminished the enthusiasm of the players.

In the women’s first grade competition, McAuley White started well with a 6-1 win over Barbs Helgas. McAuley scored five goals in the first half, aided by a two woman advantage, with Barbs short on numbers.

Helgas fought back well in the second half, with the game pretty equal and a goal apiece. Maddy Richie was strong in her first game with McAuley, while Molly Hargans was a force in Barbs defensive line.

In the other first grade game, Coffs Crusaders (2) defeated Sailors Roches (0). Sailors welcomes six new up and coming players this year, so expect to see this team grow in strength as the season progresses.

In women’s second grade, Bailey’s Diamonds could be the team to beat with a good mix of youth and experience. They took a close win over Village Angels.

The women’s third grade competition will see five teams battle it out this year, with sides from McAuley, City Bears, Sailors and Baileys.

The men’s competition has been harder hit by the changes with no first or second grade competition. Third grade will be the battle of Royals versus Sailors, with both clubs fielding two teams in the competition.

The juniors are eagerly awaiting the commencement of their season, with boys under-16, under-11 and a combined boys/girls under-13 competition starting on Thursday July 23. The junior girls mods and divisions 2 and 3 will have their first games Saturday July 25.

A big thank you to all the Grafton Hockey Association staff, volunteers and clubs who have worked hard to ensure there is a competition this season and that our hockey community is kept COVID safe.



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