Grafton faces uphill battle

GRAFTON'S opens women's hockey team is facing an uphill battle to stay in division one after making the worst possible start to its campaign in the Open State Championships at the Grafton Regional Hockey Complex over the weekend.

Losing its opening games to both Macarthur (4-0) and North Shore (1-0), the squad's division one status hangs by a thread, needing two victories from its last two games.

“(it's) a bit disappointing ... but anyway that's just how things go,” Grafton Women's Hockey Association president Cheryl Kinnane said.

“The girls are going very well, but you know how things just don't work out?”

However, hope was renewed after the squad managed to squeak home against rival, Far North Coast, two goals to one yesterday afternoon.

Kinnane said you could not ask for a better planned script, Grafton needing to win at all costs and Far North Coast wanting nothing more than to knock their fierce local rivals back down to division two.

“Not only will it be a good grudge match but we always have good matches against Far North Coast,” she said.

“In the Far North Coast squad they have four Grafton girls.”

The victory over Far North Coast does not ease the pressure on the Grafton players, still needing to beat Southern Highlands in this morning's game to have any chance of staying in the Championships premier division.

The dilemma facing the local squad aside, the Championships has been a smash hit for the local association.

A closely contested Championship and the highly competitive State League have kept both the local hockey community and tournament visitors entertained throughout the weekend.

Kinnane said she had received nothing but glowing reports.

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