Rangeville and Red Lion will do battle in this weekend's A1 women's hockey grand final.
Rangeville and Red Lion will do battle in this weekend's A1 women's hockey grand final. Nev Madsen

Hockey premierships on the line

NEWTOWN and Rangeville have enjoyed a recent dominance in their respective Toowoomba A1 men and women's competitions, but new challengers to their throne will step forward this weekend.

Newtown will be aiming for a fourth successive A1 men's title, while Rangeville is shooting for a third straight women's title.

After 21 rounds of competition and three weeks of finals, the Toowoomba Hockey competition has come down to one day.

Saturday will see a full day of grand final action at Toowoomba's Clyde Park, culminating in the two A1 premiership deciders.

A1 MEN

Newtown v Past High

NEWTOWN will need to overcome a fresh premiership rival if they are to record a fourth successive A Grade men’s hockey title this weekend.

The Tigers have once again dominated the competition in 2010, rarely blemishing their record as they strode toward another minor premiership and grand final appearance.

They will, however, face a fresh grand final opponent, with the team they have been in the last three premiership deciders, Red Lion, bowing out at the weekend.

Opposing Newtown this time around will be a determined Past High, who came back from a late 2-0 deficit to snatch a draw in the preliminary final and book themselves a grand final appearance.

While Newtown will go into the game as favourites, they don’t possess the experience of past years, with a number of key players, particularly National League representative Andrew and Scott Richards, missing from their side.

Their young players, however, have come to the fore this season and they will need to step up again to capture the crown.

They will be brimming with confidence, but need to be aware they will be playing a team who has nothing to lose.

Past High can be unpredictable, but the key to their success has been their ability to continue battling no matter what the score.

The Hawks do need a spark to get them rolling, but once on a roll, they can prove very hard to stop.

KEY PLAYERS

Newtown

Brent Garske: Garske has skills to burn, but a key to Newtown’s hopes could be whether he can bring his team mates along with him.

Craig Richards: Richards has been the key man to hold the Tigers together. He has been a strong leader and has the ability to get his team playing together as a strong unit.

Past High

Matt Mogg: He is the Hawks’ main scoring option and plays a pivotal role in creating their attacking opportunities.

Steve Hawthorne: The former Australian Country player can control the pace of the game and if he and Mogg can have big games it will go a long way toward the Hawks winning.

PAST CLASHES

Round 6: Newtown 4 d Past High 0.

Round 16: Newtown 5 d Past High 3.

Round 21: Newtown 1 drew Past High 1.

Major Semi-final: Newtown 4 d Past High 1.

A1 WOMEN

Rangeville v Red Lion

RED Lion has a mountain to climb if they steal the A Grade women’s premiership away from Rangeville.

Rangeville have dominated the competition in recent years, adding the last two titles to their collection while building a reputation as one of the best A Grade women’s sides produced in Toowoomba.

The Bulldogs will be red hot favourites to stretch their title-winning sequence to three seasons, but desperate teams with nothing to lose are always dangerous.

This will be the first time Red Lion has featured in the A1 women’s decider in about a decade.

While they are up against it, the Lions do have a win over their rivals this season, taking the points in a round 5 clash.

Since then, however, it has been all Rangeville, with the Bulldogs winning five of the six encounters this season

KEY PLAYERS

Rangeville

Take your pick. The Bulldogs have established a quality team right across the field. They are quick, skilful and aggressive and finding a weakness is easier said than done.

Red Lion

Cathy Nielsen: The Lions veteran still stands out as one of the leading players in Toowoomba. She has a major influence on the fortunes of her side, but is battling a dodgy hamstring.

Kelly Gillard: Gillard has been the Lions’ main goal scorer and will need to take any opportunity presented to her against Rangeville.

PAST CLASHES

Round 2: Rangeville 6 d Red Lion 1.

Round 5: Red Lion 3 d Rangeville 1.

Round 13: Rangeville 3 d Red Lion 0.

Round 16: Rangeville 7 d Red Lion 0.

Round 19: Rangeville 4 d Red Lion 1.

Major Semi-Final: Rangeville 2 d Red Lion 1.

GRAND FINAL SCEDULE

9.30am:

A3 Men: Past High v Norths

A4 women: Newtown v Red Lion

11.15am:

A3 Women: Norths v Newtown

A4 Men: Red Lion White v Rangeville

1pm: A2 Women: Rangeville v Red Lion

2.45pm: A2 Men: Red Lion Red v Rangeville

4.30pm: A1 Women: Rangeville v Red Lion

6.15pm: A1 Men: Newtown v Past High



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