Royals to play in grand final
THE business end of last year's local A-Grade competition was a very different looking competition than it is now.
At the beginning of this season a fairytale story had begun to be written by the Royals Hockey Club as they rollicked through the local competition sides after only winning one match last year.
The dream run was put on hold mid-season as they came up against fierce rivalry from Far North Coast teams and stronger local sides.
Now the fairytale novel has been pulled back down from the shelf and dusted off by Matt Lobsey and his men as they ride a wave of momentum into this weekend's preliminary finals.
Royals showed their dominance at the weekend defeating Sailors in the minor semi-final 3-1. But Lobsey, the side's captain, believes there is still a way to go for the side.
"I am glad that we won," he said. "I didn't think we played as well as we have been. Our basic skills were just a bit off during the match."
"We just need to focus on what we are doing, focus on our set plays."
After only winning one match last season Lobsey said he will be excited to make it to the grand final if they can win this weekend against a Barbs side stinging from a 2-0 loss to Bears.
"We still need to win this weekend to get in," Lobsey said. "It will be good if we made it to the grand final.
"Our effort and commitment this year is much improved, it would be nice if we made it. It will be validation for all the hard work that the boys have put in this year."
City Bears have booked themselves a spot in the grand final earning a much needed week's rest after the side defeated Barbs 2-0.
Bears captain Dave Dart said it was a tough fought victory over a Barbs side missing a few key players.
"At the end of the day Barbs were missing the Urquharts and a few other players which would have been tough," he said.
"But we were never going to take Barbs lightly, they are never to be underestimated."
Dart said next weekend's preliminary could easily go either way but he gave Royals the edge on paper.