Orange Girls 1 team was agonisingly close to a division two decider play-off after a controversial call denied them the goal they needed to advance through to the Under-13 State Indoor Hockey Championships on Sunday.
In the later stages of their semi-final match with North West Sydney, a shot on goal was disallowed after being deflected off a foot, with the match ending in a 2-2 draw.
Because North West Sydney finished the top of their pool, they progressed to the division two final where they lost to champions Sydney South 6-1.
South co-captains Chloe Holmes and Alex Singlton as well as Maddison Gibbs both scores braces in their final win, as they proved a class above their opponents around the court and in tight.
Orange won their first game against North West, winning 5-0 on Friday before losing to eventual champions South 5-2.
They lost again to Sydney East on Saturday, but rebounded to defeat Parkes 4-2 later that afternoon, leaving them second in their pool.
I saw improvement in every game, so they’re learning and improving which is a very big thing.Annie Pakinga talking about the development team
Coach Annie Pakinga said while she was disappointed her girls didn’t get the chance to compete in the grand final, “the girls all played really well”.
“I had faith in all the girls to play the way they did, they’ve trained for this and I did think we would have gone through but that’s just the way it goes some times,” Pakinga said.
Goulburn ended up taking out the top division grand final with a determined 3-0 win over Illawarra South Coast.
Grace Jones, Meg Baker and Emmalee Croker all scored for the champions, while Jones and Bella Croker both played standout games in attack.
South Coast’s third division team also finished in the grand final, recording a draw against a classy Bathurst outfit in the final. Chloe Richards and Destiny and Harmony Ferguson scored for Illawarra, while young gun Macey Fulton scored two goals for Bathurst alongside Olivia Howard’s single.
Orange’s second side competed in division three but struggled against older girls, going winless in their campaign.
“I saw improvement in every game, so they’re learning and improving which is a very big thing,” Pakinga, who is the assistant coach, said.
Coffs Coast defeated Nepean 3-0 in the division four grand final.
Meanwhile, a 6-6 draw with Coffs Coast and a 5-2 loss to Port Macquarie Hastings kicked off Orange’s campaign in the boys’ side of the Under-13 Boys Indoor State Championships on Saturday before scratching out a 2-2 draw with Dubbo on Sunday.
The boys started a day later than the girls, kicking off on Saturday, while their finals will be held on Monday.
Orange’s development side had a tough start to their tournament on Saturday, going down 7-2 to Bathurst 2 in the early game before being crunched by Goulburn 11-0.
The side then lost 2-5 to Sydney South 2, while both of the Sunday games kicked off after deadline.
Goulburn look the team to beat late on Sunday afternoon having won 7-1, 11-0 and 8-2 in their three games in the tournament in division three.
Meanwhile, Parkes have picked up three wins from their three games to be leading pool A in division one mid-way through play on day two of the carnival, while South Sydney have the same scorecard with three wins in pool B.
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