Matt Lobsey was a standout for Royals against Southside on Sunday.
Matt Lobsey was a standout for Royals against Southside on Sunday.

Jack Taylor scores for draw

WITH two minutes remaining on the clock and staring down the barrel of defeat, Royals’ Jack Taylor found the back of the net to snatch an exciting draw against A grade men’s hockey competition favourites Southside at Coffs Harbour on Sunday.

The 15-year-old forward is just another talented player who has come through the Grafton Men’s Hockey production line and on recent form is not far from cementing a regular place in the top grade.

Royals had a chance to win the game seconds before the final siren after being awarded a penalty corner, but failed to convert.

A plan to negate Royals’ star striker Rhys Henwood may have been good in theory but it almost backfired as the Royals forward line were given plenty of room to attack.

“Southside tried to mark Rhys out of the game which is understandable. Let him run and he’ll kill you with his pace and skill,” Royals coach John Taylor said.

“All it did was give other guys in the team more room to attack.”

Taylor said preparation for the clash was hindered after two players pulled out on the morning and had to be replaced by players with limited A grade experience.

“We had a couple of guys pull out on game day but to come away with a draw against a side as good as Coffs is a bonus,” he said.

“We seemed to be always chasing them (Coffs). They’d score a goal then we would ... it was like that for most of the game.”

Taylor praised his young side for they way they competed with their more fancied opponents and singled out Zeb Dougherty and Matt Lobsey as standouts.

“Zeb set up a lot of good plays from right wing and Matt played his usual strong game leading by example. Coffs are a solid side who have plenty of old heads and are physically strong,” Taylor said.

Southside coach Simon Shipman said he was happy with the end result but had concerns with the way his side tended to ‘switch off’ after establishing a lead.

“With the Coffs turf closed for the past two weeks the team has had a limited preparation but certainly have the talent to blow any team off the paddock on their day,” Shipman said.

 BARBARIANS, who have scored a massive 23 goals after only seven rounds, disposed of Sailors 7-0 and in doing so sent an ominous warning to rival clubs.

Barbarians coach Peter Ryder put the emphatic win down to his side’s ability to control the ball although the final score could have been higher if his strikers had their radars working.

“The highlight for us was the way we controlled the ball but in saying that we did have at least 30 shots on goal and failed to capitalise,” Ryder said.

“I was pleased with the way we made two or three passes inside the circle and the form Brad Inmon has been in of late.”

Inmon has been in superb touch scoring a hat-trick against Sailors, backing up his two-goal performance last game against City Bears.

This week’s match-up between Barbarians and Southside promises to be an interesting tussle with both sides tipped to be there at the business end of the season.

“Southside will be a difficult proposition for us especially as we will be down a couple of key players,” Ryder said. “Our goalkeeper, Dan Seymour, is unavailable and Dan Shipman will be in Queensland wood-chopping.”

Next week’s games:

Barbarians v Southside 3.30pm Sunday

City Bears v Sailors 4.45 Sunday

Bye: Royals

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