Sydney 45s teams miss semis
The two Sydney teams tried hard but failed by the slimmest margins to make the semi-finals at the NSW over-45s championships in Armidale at the weekend.
Despite late pullouts cutting numbers back to 14 per team and injuries on day one further eating away at resources, both sides never gave up and came within a whisker of seeing Sunday action.
The 2s stormed out of the blocks on Friday with wins over the fancied Central Coast (2-0) and Southern Highlands (1-0). Needing only a draw on Saturday to secure a finals berth, we were disappointing against Bathurst (0-1) then went down to eventual winners Goulburn (1-3) to miss out on goal difference.
The 1s had an easy 3-0 win first up over Lithgow then lost 1-0 to a very strong Illawarra outfit, having missed a couple of good chances late in the game. On Saturday we played our most committed hockey to down Tamworth 2-1, despite missing a host of very gettable chances in the second half. This meant a draw against Sutherland would put us into the semis on goals for. Alas, against a weaker opponent, we conceded a goal from a penalty corner with three minutes to go and went down 1-0.
Such is life!
The good news came late on Sunday when the two NSW teams were named for the Australian titles in Melbourne in Sept-Oct.
Mike Irby is vice-captain of the 1s and will be joined by Sydney Uni team-mate Phil Price, along with Dave Collier and Steve Roberts of Gordon North Sydney.
Ian Jessup (Sydney Uni) was named captain of the 2s. Glenn Wallace (GNS) and Greg Goodridge (Northside) also gained selection after strong showings in the halves.
A huge thanks to Col 'Knocker' White and our president Merv Goodridge for managing the sides in Armidale, Ganasan and Geoff Roberts for umpiring, and the highly-talented young Scottish physio Susan for getting us through the weekend and ensuring the Sydney tent had plenty of company!