Almost a dream start
GRAFTON’S over-50s were unlucky not to secure a draw against powerhouse Illawarra on the opening day of the veterans State Titles.
In their first foray into A-division, Grafton went down 2-1.
The visitors scored early with a scrambled shot in the goal circle and then Grafton replied with beautiful lead up work by Greg Harvison who crossed to Barry Livermore to slot the equaliser home late in the first half.
Grafton was finding the speed and pressure of playing a faster brand of hockey a big step up in class. Lack of composure saw mistakes from the locals.
They had chances as the second-half progressed, missing a number of shots on goal but then so did Illawarra and it was left to Brett Condie to make some spectacular saves.
It came unstuck for Grafton when an indiscretion in the 22 resulted in a corner and then a hack at a stick in panic resulted in a stroke which was converted by Illawarra.
Not a bad first up effort with Neville Lollback and Andrew Terrey, both 10-year state veterans, the pick of Grafton in game one.
To go from last year’s semi-finalist in Illawarra to grand finalist Far North Coast (FNC) was an unenviable first days draw for Grafton. Once again competitive but going down 1-0 to the powerful FNC side.
Brian Napper had a beauty as did Greg Harvison but once again players’ player must go to Brett Condie with some brilliant acrobatic keeping.
Today is a new day as they take on Western Districts at 8.30am then Goulburn at 3pm. The twos had a 1-1 draw with Illawarra 2 and in this match Grafton had the better of the play. Dave Munns, in the unfamiliar role of striker, was a pivotal player for Grafton.