THE six Orange veterans sides that made the trip to Wagga Wagga for the 2012 Women’s Masters Southern NSW Hockey Championships made two finals and a play-off for second and third but came away from the tournament empty handed.
However, Orange Veterans secretary Jane Rowlands concedes the group did well just making the finals.
“We weren’t unlucky, we were probably lucky,” Rowlands said following three successful days of hockey which started last Friday at Wagga’s impressive hockey facilities at Jubilee Park.
“Being a half-state champs, there was no difference between a full state. All of the good Sydney teams were in Wagga and we had to play them.”
Despite the competition, Orange’s sides gave a strong account of themselves in Wagga.
Orange’s over 45s qualified through to the final of their division against Dubbo, eventually going down 1-0 in a close affair.
The over 50s also earned a place in their division’s decider.
But they too couldn’t quite put it together on the day, going down 4-1 to Wagga Wagga.
“The 45s played really, really well in a close game and the 50s, even though it was 4-1, the score didn’t really indicate how the game went,” Rowlands said.
Playing for a place in the final, Orange’s over 55s narrowly lost 1-0 against Illawarra.
Rowlands said the over 55s were particularly unlucky not to at least force a draw.
“The 55s went down basically one minute before the hooter,” she said.
Hundreds of players, officials and supporters from across the southern half of NSW were in Wagga for the half-state hockey carnival.
Two synthetic and 12 grass fields were used for the 198 games at the three-day event.
Orange had two sides compete in the over 35s competitions, with Orange (1) finishing fourth in division one and Orange (2) finishing fifth in division five.
The over 40s finished the weekend third.
“The weather wasn’t really kind to us,” Rowlands said.
“We arrived and it was drizzling, then we had to play on grass which was slippery.
“But that’s just really the luck of the draw. Everyone had a fantastic time.”