Orange’s quartet of sides made good use of their home court advantage on the opening three days of the 2017 Hockey NSW Boys’ and Girls’ Under 13s Indoor State Championships at Sir Neville Howse Stadium, producing several excellent performances.
At time of print on Sunday afternoon, Orange’s division two girls’ side had locked up top spot in its pool and a place in Monday’s semi-finals despite still having one preliminary game remaining while the division three, development side was sitting fifth in pool B with one game left.
Orange’s top side, coached by Annie Pakinga, waltzed through its first three games of the tournament.
Led by state reps Kiana Pakinga and Kelsie White, Orange claimed decisive victories over Tamworth (8-0), Sydney South (8-2) and central west rivals Dubbo (4-1) before its final preliminary game against Grafton on Sunday night – that game had just kicked off at time of print.
Regardless of the result in Sunday night’s game, Orange had already qualified for Monday’s semi-finals – the first of which starts at 8.40am – with Sydney South coming second.
The Trent Wilde-coached girls’ development outfit suffered a couple of heavy losses first-up, going down to Goulburn (6-0) and Sydney East (12-0). But it bounced back in its third game, defeating Southern Highlands 2-0 to open its account, but lost 6-0 to Newcastle after that.
Orange’s two boys’ sides finished their campaigns on Sunday, the division two squad bowing out at the semi-final stage while the division three outfit – like the girls’ side, a development team – finished ninth.
In division two Orange – coached by Joe Priest – finished second in its pool with a 2-2 record, progressing through to Sunday’s semi-finals where it faced Manning Valley.
Orange fought hard, but ultimately went down 4-0, Manning Valley eventually going to win the title.
In the preliminary stage Priest’s troops started well with back-to-back, 3-2 wins over North West Sydney and Southern Highlands, before suffering losses to Sydney East (4-2) and Illawarra South-Coast (4-0).
The boys’ development side lost its tournament-opener to Metro South West (4-1) before defeating Central Coast 4-0.
It suffered losses to Newcastle (6-2) and Bathurst (6-1), before going down to Tamworth (4-0) in the seventh-place play-off.
Orange then lost 5-0 to Central Coast in the eighth and ninth consolation.