Local girls compete in champs
TWO Grafton juniors are turning heads in South Australia as part of the under-18 Australian Hockey Championships.
Rachelle Pole and Madeleine Richey are taking part in the event, which runs from April 13 to 24.
But while both girls are locals to Grafton, they are playing for different states.
Pole is competing for high-flying NSW, who look set for a finals clash with top-of-the-table Queensland, while Richey’s Northern Territory side languishes near the foot of the ladder.
Pole, a goalkeeper, lists the achievement of making the squad one of her career highlights.
The South Grafton High School student has also previously represented NSW Institute of Sport Emerging Talent Squad and North Coast Academy of Sport.
Richey started in the sport aged three and has since progressed to NSW’s junior state squads before making the shift to the Northern Territory.
In Sunday’s previous round, the sixth of seven, Richey’s Northern Territory went down 4-2 to Western Australia to end their hopes of progressing to this week’s finals.
They remain winless from four matches while NSW has dropped just one of its four matches to sit in third spot.
Their run has included a 5-0 thrashing of lowly Tasmania last start in an ominous sign for rivals squads ahead of the crunch games.