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    Notes from the field

Sydney Over 40's strike gold!

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Both Sydney Over 40's sides made the semi-finals in their respective divisions at the NSW State Championships held over the weekend.

The "A" team finished second in their pool, and for the second time in three years, were desperately unlucky to be defeated by Newcastle on Penalty Strokes in the semi-final. Illawarra were subsequently defeated 2-0 by Newcastle, giving them their fourth consecutive NSW State Championship.

The "B" team went through their pool undefeated, including a last-second victory over Dubbo on day one. Struggling for numbers in the week leading up to the championships, during the course of the weekend the side was able to call on the services of 16 players, and going into the semi-final, were able to utilise the slightly fresher legs to defeat the Central Coast 1-0 and set up a final against the Newcastle "B" team.

Sydney scored early in the first half to take a 1-0 lead into half time, before Newcastle leveled the match through their lethal penalty corner battery. Injuries to two key Newcastle players depleted their reserves, but at the end of normal time, the scores were still locked at 1-1. 10 minutes of golden goal extra time was not able to separate the sides, and the final went to penalty strokes. The Sydney custodian, Fraser Larcombe, saved the fourth Newcastle stroke, while the Sydney penalty takers of Scott Morrison, Ian Jessup, Mark Matheson, Chris Quirk and Trevor Lee all successfully converted theirs, giving Sydney "B" it's first victory in the championships since 2003.

The team were driven by a common goal, which was to thank the tireless work of their manager Merv Goodridge, and reward him with a long overdue championship victory.

Congratulations to all the Sydney players for a great performance suring the champsionhips.

Author Info
Mark Matheson
Chief Bottle Washer
Mark is the former President of the Sydney Masters Hockey Association and is a current NSW manager in the Over 40's age group. When he is not working in the hockey community, Mark runs an IT Consultancy offering IT Management and business process change services.