Divall doubles up with gold

ORANGE hockey star Rachel Divall refuses to let herself be called a ‘teen prodigy’.

Divall, who celebrates her 18th birthday today, blushed at the notion. 

Despite her modest dismissals, the results don’t lie.

Most athletes won’t represent their state in their whole lives.

Divall donned the sky blue twice in one month, after repeated appearances throughout her junior career.

After helping New South Wales to an under 21s indoor hockey national championship at the beginning of January, Divall was named captain of the under 18s team to contest its corresponding tournament.

After coming first in the group stages, the sky blues took on Victoria in the final, finishing 1-1 at full-time.

The game went to one-on-ones, and New South Wales emerged victorious 2-1, to claim the national title.

Victoria scored first, before New South Wales found the back of the net. 

After Victoria missed it’s second shot, Divall stepped up to the top of the circle.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my life,” she said. “But I did score, and because they missed their next shot we didn’t need to go again.”

To cap off an incredible month for Divall, she was named player of the tournament.

She said the feeling of winning two national championships in the space of three weeks was going to be hard to top.

“It was so exciting,” she said.

“In the 18s I thought we’d do pretty well, we had a good team on paper but you never know with these things.

“Individually I knew the girls would help bring me up to their level but I never expected to win that award.”

Divall now faces the prospect of the state trials for the New South Wales under 18s field hockey team, at Homebush on February 15 and 16.

“Fingers crossed I make it,” she said.

“They’ve got a big squad this year, so I’ll just have to see what happens.”

Divall wasn’t the only Orange player to claim a national indoor hockey title this month.

Chloe Barrett captained the NSW under 15s girls’ side which brought home a gold medal from the national tournament in Brisbane.

NSW toppled Queensland 3-2 in the decider with Barrett scoring for her team in the second half to help push them to the win.

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