HOCKEY: Bears maul weak Royals
HOCKEY MEN: The dream start to the season for Clocktower Hotel Royals has been brought to a shuddering halt at the hands of an undermanned Grafton City Bears.
Both sides were severely lacking in troops for the match with players from both sides away in Bathurst for the Under 18 State Championships.
But it was the way the Bears responded to the missing players, and the loss of captain Mick Russ in the first five minutes due to injury, by lifting in their absence which proved the difference in the 6-2 demolition.
Riley Want stepped in to the Australian Masters representative's shoes after he was taken from the field and finished a very proud stand-in captain.
"We had a few boys out, three of our sort of main players out," Want said.
"We just always seem to do it when we have blokes out, we just sort of tie it together well.
"The young fellas from B- Grade, and even some of the older B-Grade fellas, really stepped up in their absence.
"It hurt to lose Russy as well and we had only one sub for the game, everyone was a bit buggered especially the boys backing up.
"Everyone wanted to have a go and everyone wanted to beat Royals.
"Hopefully this is us and hopefully we keep climbing."
Josh Lollback was a standout for the Bears side scoring an early double in the first half to help his side to a 4-1 lead before icing the job with a late hat trick goal.
Royals were frustrated for possession by the Bears side and struggled to convert their opportunities on goal but will be buoyed by the return of their young guns.
Barbs flogged Sailors 9-1 in the other match.