The Grafton 1 team celebrated their success at the Under 13 Girls State Hockey Championships with a visit to I Scream following their grand final clash with Canberra. Image: Contributed/Shirleyanne Blanchard.

Hockey championships score a win for Grafton

Emma Pritchard

Despite initial fears of cancellation due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak, the Under 13 Girls State Hockey Championships went ahead in Grafton last weekend.

Although several teams from Sydney, Wollongong, the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast were unable to participate due to enforced travel restrictions imposed by the current lockdown in the state capital, 18 teams from regional NSW, including two from Grafton, took to the fields between July 2 and 4.

A spokesperson for Hockey NSW said the health and safety of the participants and the local community was a top priority while the carnival injected more than $1 million into the local economy.

A socially distanced crowd adhered to the current restrictions as the wet weather finally cleared towards the end of the championships.

After a strong start, the Grafton 1 team progressed to the grand final of Div 1 against Canberra with a determined 1-0 win against the visitors.

Unfortunately, Grafton 1 were unable to reproduce the result which delivered them earlier success against Canberra who played a strong game to reverse the result and win the grand final 2-0.

In Div 3, Grafton 2 fought gamely against their opponents.

However, they were unable to progress to their grand final despite a valiant effort, with all the players enjoying their participation in the event.

This weekend, the Under 13 Boys representative team from Grafton will travel to Parkes to compete in the State Championship.

Make sure you grab a copy of next week’s Clarence Valley Independent for a follow-up report.