The last of the junior NSW Hockey State Championships wrapped up on the weekend of July 11-13. Thirteen eager under 13 boys and their families travelled to Parkes to compete and made the long trip home with medals around their necks.
The Grafton team competed strongly in their round games in a strong pool in Div 2, finishing on top. They had a comfortable win against Newcastle 2 in the quarter final but met a tougher opponent in Southern Highlands in the semi-final. The strong standing in the round games proved vital when the game finished at 1-1, with Grafton progressing to the grand final due to their higher rankings.
The grand final saw Grafton take on Port Macquarie. The teams had met in the round games, with a 1-1 result, and were once again unable to be split. Despite chances for both teams, the game ended at 0-0, with the teams being named joint premiers of Div 2. The coach, Matt Lobsey, praised the players for their willingness to listen and learn, and to push themselves to do their individual jobs well but play as a team, resulting in their excellent finish.
The U13 boys State squad was named with Grafton players Zayden Third, Chase Callaghan, Gus Lobsey and Max Oxenbridge making the list. These boys will join the three Grafton U13 girls (Meg Amos, Isabella Miller, and Shanae Crispin) at the State Trials in Port Macquarie this weekend.
The strong results for Grafton across the board in the junior hockey State Championships, with four grand final births, is a testament to the work being done locally week in, week out, by the coaches, volunteers, players and their families. Well done Grafton Hockey!