Nine youngsters help NSW Country defeat City counterparts
NINE of Grafton Hockey's best junior players helped Country NSW defeat their metropolitan counterparts in the annual City vs Country clash at Tamworth over the weekend.
The title was decided in Country's favour after matches were played over three age divisions by both boys and girls.
Country also claimed both the Jack Hannaford Shield for winning most matches in the boys, and the Alyson Annan Shield for the girls. "It was a terrific weekend and all the Grafton kids played exceptional hockey, they really did us proud," Ruth Donoghue said.
"Jacob Purser played unbelievable hockey in the under-17s.
"He missed a lot of hockey last year with a crushed finger, but the way he has returned is really exciting to see.
"Nathan Butterick was also as strong as usual and played great."
Donoghue freely admits she is one of her son Justin's harshest critics, but couldn't avoid praising his efforts for the senior boys' side.
"Justin really played out of his skin, he was like a rash in defence and was all over the opposition," she said.
"He looks as though he is in for a really big season of hockey again this year."
Joshua Cumberland in the under-15 side and Reece Gaddes in the under-13 team also played well at Tamworth.
"Josh came into his own on Sunday with his strong defensive hockey and he is a real quiet achiever," Donoghue said.
"Reece was a bit on edge on Saturday but warmed up to the task and did Grafton proud as the youngest of the boys playing at Tamworth.
"He will go a long way."
Ruby Hackett, Kaitlin Pardoe, Ashlee Danvers and Bianca Sedger were all selected to represent the girls' country teams.
Proud father and hockey contributor Shane Sedger was on hand to capture these great images for us and said all the girls also represented Grafton admirably.
"Bianca and Ashlee both played in the victorious under-15s side who won the Saturday game 5-0 and the Sunday match 3-2," Sedger said.
"Bianca really had her confidence up and played well in a very good team, while Ashlee had an absolute blinder and was involved in everything."