A City Bears player sneaks one past a Sailors defender on Sunday night in Round 1 of the A-grade men’s hockey.
A City Bears player sneaks one past a Sailors defender on Sunday night in Round 1 of the A-grade men’s hockey. Gary Nichols

Goal bonanza for Bears and Sailors

THERE was no shortage of goals in the Round 1 clash between City Bears and Sailors on Sunday.

A total of 10 goals found the back of the net but unfortunately for Sailors they only managed two.

The 8-2 scoreline in favour of Bears provided fans with plenty of open play with Dave Dart’s forward line running riot in the first half.

With both sides missing several key players Bears controlled most of the play, continually asking questions of the opposition defence.

Up by five goals at half-time the Bears took their foot off the pedal in the second but all indications point to another successful season.

“Both sides were missing players; we had six regular first graders out and I think they (Sailors) had four,” Bears captain, Dave Dart, told The Examiner yesterday.

“We seem to have plenty of depth this season with the young guys stepping up.

“We have the back-up and Sailors don’t.”

Bears got off to the perfect start after a typical Mark Pollock goal blasted into the net from a short corner in the opening minute of play.

From there Bears dominated proceedings with Dart, Mitch Eggins and Jacob Purser causing all sorts of headaches for the Sailors’ backs and goalkeeper.

“The young guys went well and proved they can handle the top grade,” Dart said.

“I really think Mitch Eggins deserves a mention ... he was definitely a standout on the night.”

According to Dart, the highlight of the game was his side’s ability to move the opposition defence around, almost at will.

“Our forward line played well and we eliminated their goalkeeper with some good passing which was a pleasing aspect of our game so early in the season,” Dart added.

“To be frank I thought it would be a much tougher game.

“But I suppose they had four under-17 representative players missing.

“After Mark’s goal in the first minute we got a roll on and played some entertaining hockey.”

At times Sailors looked rudderless with captain Scott Smith trying everything to muster his troops.

But the class centre-half at times found himself feeling the heat continually smashing the long ball in desperate hope of a deflection.

Royals would like the last five minutes of their game against Barbarians back after letting in three late goals.

Locked at 3-3 with the clock ticking down Barbarians scored three goals in the blink of an eye to record a 6-3 victory.

Royals coach John Taylor said his side made several changes late in the match which in the end proved costly.

“There was only five (minutes) to go and we made some changes – Mick Hughes at the back went off and we just lost our way,” Taylor said.

“We missed a few easy traps and Barbs capitalised.”

Royals went into the match without star forwards Matt Lobsey and Rhys Henwood but according to Taylor they have picked up a class striker.

“We have a few players out with injury at the moment – Matt Lobsey is out and Rhys is still recovering from a knee injury,” he said.

“We’ve picked up a very handy player from Lismore in Mitch Harley who is a striker with plenty of skill.

“In fact he scored all three of our goals.”

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