Grafton on fire at championships

GRAFTON'S representative men's hockey side will progress to the semi-finals of the NSW State Hockey Championships in Newcastle after two impressive 4-0 wins on the first day of competition yesterday.

The team, which scarcely survived relegation last year, was in fine form early on, with four unanswered goals against last year's winner Newcastle.

“The first 10 minutes was pretty even but after that we pretty much ran riot,” striker Peter Kelly said.

Grafton was then looking for revenge against the Tamworth team, which inflicted a humiliating defeat on it last year.

“It was a fair contest in the first half – it was Grafton versus the Lobsey brothers,” Kelly said. “But we ran over them in the second half.”

The comment was reflected in the scoreline – 1-0 in the first half and three goals to Grafton in the second.

Grafton faces Lithgow this morning to decide whether it finishes first or second in the group, but progression to the semi-finals is assured.

“Brent Livermore has been at the centre of the performance, giving the young boys lots of direction and they have been lifting to the standard he sets,” said Kelly, who scored four goals yesterday.

“We had a game plan and we stuck to it. Our strong defensive structure has given us lots of the ball. We don't train together, we just work with what's said before the game.”

The final will be held tomorrow at 1.15pm.

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