Helgas show spirit in tough tussle with premiers
HOCKEY WOMEN: With a young side on the rise, Barbs Helgas coach Kyran Robertson was full of praise for his women's first grade side after narrowly losing to McAuley White.
A slew of late goals to the defending premiers blew the scoreline out to 4-1, but it was not a scoreline that reflected the match.
The Helgas side, which is mostly made up of schoolgirls, fought tooth and nail with McAuley, and kept them to a 1-1 draw for most of the contest.
It was an effort that the coach said his players should be proud of.
"We have got a pretty young side, and they did a great job stepping up to the challenge of the McAuley side,” he said.
"It is only their second hit out together as a side, and they have made marked improvements in the space of a week.
"The teamwork was a lot better in this game, and you can see that the girls are really starting to gel together. We are working on a few set plays to take us to the next level, and we will work on those as the season progresses.”
It was a tough afternoon for Robertson, who has coached the McAuley side to back-to-back premierships over the past two seasons, but an opportunity to head back to his own club this season was too hard to pass up.
"The challenge with this role is definitely different to the past couple of years,” he said.
"As I explained to the girls before the game, this McAuley side has been the benchmark of the competition for the past three or four years, and now it is up to us to meet that mark.”
In other women's first grade action, City Bears managed to steal a quick equaliser to ensure a draw against Sailors Roches Hotel.
Both teams fielded stronger teams this week, with subsequent improvements in the overall possession games of both teams.