NEW South Wales may have gone through the Australian Under 18 Boys’ Hockey Championships undefeated, but Orange’s Nic Milne said they didn’t do it easy.
Milne and fellow Orange product Nick Hill were part of the NSW team which took out the national title when they downed Victoria 5-2 in the final.
The NSW team produced some one-sided results during the tournament but Milne said none of it was easy.
“It was pretty good hockey,” Milne said.
“It was all evened out. There were no easy teams.”
Hill, who enjoyed his second national title with the NSW 18s team, said this win was different.
“It was a bit better because I was a captain. It felt a bit more special,” Hill said.
In their round robin matches NSW downed Queensland 6-3, Victoria 4-2, Western Australia 7-1, Tasmania 5-1, ACT 12-0, Northern Territory 9-2 and South Australia 7-0.
This put the NSW side on top of the competition ladder and they accounted for Western Australia 5-2 in the semi-final.
However, NSW didn’t have the best start in the final against Victoria.
NSW was down 1-0 after three minutes thanks to a Victorian strike.
The NSW boys came back hard and were up 3-1 at the break thanks to two goals from Blake Govers and one from Shayne Smith.
The score went out to 4-1 in the second half after Parkes product Jack Elliott found the back of the net but then Victoria came back.
Two more Victorian goals had the score at 4-3 but NSW had the final say when Govers bagged his third goal and side won 5-3.
“It was pretty hard at the start and they had us on the back foot,” Milne said.
“It was pretty tough through the whole game.”
Hill, who was one of three captains for NSW, said he always knew his side would win.
“We always believed we could come back,” Hill said.
Milne and Hill both played centre-half roles for NSW.
Now their hockey commitments will continue in Sydney with the two 18-year-olds playing in the Sydney Hockey Association men’s premier league competition.
Milne plays for St George Randwick and Hill is part of the Briars.
Milne also played in the Central West Premier League Hockey competition for the Lithgow Panthers.
Milne and Hill weren’t the only Orange players at the national championships.
Maddie Smith played with the Northern Territory in the Australian Under 18 Girls Championships in Newcastle.
Smith and her side went through the tournament without a win and had a 1-all draw with Tasmania in the play-off for seventh.