THE Australian Women’s Masters Hockey Championships have been a happy hunting ground for Orange. Orange was represented on and off the paddock at the championships in Melbourne which finished on Saturday.
Reita Holmes (over 35s), Naomi Sparks (over 40s) and Kerrie Wood (over 60s) were selected in Australian teams to compete in a trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand next year.
Joanne McRae (over 35s) was selected as a shadow player and Lindl Taylor was named as the over 45s assistant coach.
The selections capped off an amazing tournament for the Orange representatives.
NSW won the Meg Wilson Shield for the second year in a row. The shield is for the champion overall state at the championships.
Orange’s Jane Rowlands and Kerrie Wood brought home gold with the NSW over 60s. The NSW team, which was managed by Rowlands, downed Victoria 2-nil in the grand final.
Wood was named player of the final. Taylor coached the NSW over 55s to a silver medal when they lost their final 3-nil.
McRae said they had an exciting tournament.
“In the over 35s, we qualified first but we lost the semi-final to Victoria, who were fourth,” she said.
“They went on and won the the title and they were very deserving winners.
“We played West Australia for third, which was a rematch of last year’s grand final. We had a 2-all draw but we finished third because we finished higher on the table.”
It was an exciting win, with NSW scoring off a penalty corner after the final siren to make it a draw.
Sparks had an outstanding tournament and was the equal highest goal scorer for the NSW over 35s.
Holmes played with the ACT over 35s and McRae said she was a key player, earning her place in the Australian team.
“Reita had an outstanding tournament. She was integral for that team. With Reita’s direction and positional play, they cemented themselves as a well-structured team,” she said.
McRae said she was excited to be named as a shadow player in the Australian over 35s team.
“If I get the call up that would be fantastic,” she said.
The trans-Tasman three-Test series between Australia’s and New Zealand’s masters sides will be played in May.