MASTER EFFORT: Snapped tendon can't stop masters all-rounder
OZTAG: Dave Dart has proven his all-round ability on the sporting field after coming away from the Oztag Australian Championships with a silver medal as part of the East Coast Dolphins over-40s side.
It is the second straight year Dart has returned from the championships with silver but it was with a different side this season.
It is also the second national masters silver medal Dart has earned for the year, including his effort for NSW Over-45s at the Australian Masters Hockey National Championships in Lismore in October.
But it took a herculean effort from Dart to collect the silver medal in Oztag after he snapped the tendon connecting his bicep to his elbow joint on the opening day of the championships.
"It was just a split-second thing,” he said.
"I went to reach out for a tag and saw a player running full pelt towards my arm, so I sort of braced and stretched the muscle at the same time.
"I just felt this massive pop in my elbow and thought 'sh-- that hurt' but kept on playing.”
After consulting the team physiotherapist, Dart had his elbow strapped but continued to play the weekend out for his side, helping them to the Over-40s final against a stacked Central Coast outfit led by former NSW State of Origin half Michael Buettner.
While the Dolphins outfit managed to fight tooth and nail with Central Coast in the earlier round game between the two, it was a different story in the final.
"They were just too good for us, to be honest, they are probably the best Oztag side I have ever come up against,” he said.
"They ended up beating us 6-1 but we were OK with that. We know we gave it our all.”
It was a tough tournament for Dart, who had to acclimatise to the Dolphins make-up.
With the side based out of the Southern Districts of Sydney, Dart had been forced to do a lot of training solo in Grafton.
"I have played with those blokes in the past so I guess I had a little bit of an idea how things worked,” he said.
"I just had to put in a bit of extra work.”
As for his elbow, Dart is hoping to avoid surgery as he aims to get his arm back to 100 per cent ahead of next year's hockey season.
"I'll keep training over summer but it might have to just be leg work for now,” he said.