SISTER ACT: Grafton's secret weapon for State titles
HOCKEY: There will be no love lost and no feelings spared as Lawrence's Ensbey sisters go into battle this weekend.
Ashleigh, 15, and Mackenna, 12, will step up for the Grafton 1 side as they aim to defend home turf during the Hockey NSW Under 15 State titles.
The sisters are one of two sisterly duos in the number one Grafton side along with Coffs Harbour's Hayley and Breah Fischer.
It is a secret weapon that Grafton coach Rick Sampson hope gives his side an upper hand on home turf.
Ashleigh said she and Mackenna had relied on their extra connection in the past when they played in the junior ranks, but this would be the first time they had represented their town together.
"It is a big moment for us, I think we do play better together because we almost know what each other is doing at all times,” she said.
"I almost don't have to think about where I'm passing the ball to because I know she is going to be there.”
The Grafton side finished runner-up in the Under 15 titles last season, after it lost 1-0 in a thrilling final against Illawarra.
The older of the two Ensbey sisters was in that side, and said the girls were determined to go one better this year, especially because it was on home soil.
"It does mean a bit more because we have to do the town proud,but I don't think too many of us are feeling any extra pressure.”
Hayley Fischer is also backing up from last year's near miss at the titles with Brooke Sippel and Chloe Winters.
For Mackenna Ensbey, these titles will be the first time she has represented Grafton at the Under 15 age group after stepping up from Under 13 ranks.
Ensbey is one of three players in the Division 1 side who are playing up two years, with Breah Fischer and star Martina Williams.
There are also several Under 13 players stepping up for the association in the Grafton 2 side, proving the versatility of the local hockey community.
"It is a big step up to the Under 15 grade, the girls all have that extra knowledge, and they are a bit bigger,” Ensbey said.
The championships kick off today and will run through to Sunday afternoon.
Ashleigh Ensbey, Josie Green, Hayley Fischer, Chloe Winters, Olivia McLaren, Lydia Breadsell, Laini Casserly, Brooke Sippel, Mackenna Ensbey, Breah Fischer, Amelia Kroehnert, Kasey Shannon, Martina Williams, Emma Firth, Hope Endean (GK)
Coach: Rick Sampson, Manager: Rebecca Sippel
Jemma Whelan, Kaydence Kilduff, Sophie Hinterholzl, Laura Hennessy, Krystal McMahon, Tanika Crispin, Mia Hayne, Jessica Sear, Grace Crapp, Ella Cahill, Madison Carlton, Zahli Shannon, Emily Hartz, Brittany Cole, Kate Atkin (GK)
Coach: Damien Winters, Manager: Kate Carlton