HOCKEY: Royals cement top spot on Premier League ladder
HOCKEY: Clocktower Hotel Royals have continued their early season dominance over the local Premier League competition with a 2-0 shut out against Barbarians in the opening round of the Inter-City competition.
The Royals outfit played with control and speed and were no match in the end for a Barbs side who played valiantly in defeat.
The Royals were on the front foot from the outset of the contest with forward Jack Taylor finding the back of the net within the opening five minutes.
Then top-notch goal tending from Josh Rose kept the Royals one goal lead before captain Matt Lobsey extended it with a field goal in the 44th minute.
Lobsey praised the efforts of Rose who managed to keep the Sailors scoreless despite a barrage of goal attempts.
"We are happy with the way we are performing so far this season," Lobsey said. "Josh Rose had a particularly good game in goals, he saved a fair few shots on goal.
"I think the other thing is we have had a fair few players out and our B-Graders who have been playing up have been playing outstandingly.
"They have just been appreciating the opportunity, our side hasn't really settled down yet. A lot of people are proving themselves which is really nice."
Among those Reserve Grade players filling in for the Royals are last year's Under 16 grand finalists Lawson Bell and Jack Hancock who are relishing the chance to play in the top grade.
Taylor's early goal in the contest makes it three goals in as many matches for the forward and his captain has noticed the prolific goal scorers ability.
"He is pretty sharp in the circle Jack," Lobsey said. "He has got a good eye for goal."
In other local Premier League action City Bears 4 (Want, Pollock, J Lollback, B Lollback) def Sailors 1 (Auld).
No women's hockey action on the weekend due to school holidays.
There will be no matches played in the Grafton Hockey Association this weekend with all matches deferred to a later date due to the ANZAC Long Weekend holiday.
Competition will resume in two weekend's time on April 30 and May 1.