WOMENS HOCKEY: Spoils shared in opener
A LATE equaliser denied Sailors victory in round one of Grafton's A Grade Women's competition.
But Danielle Hollis' effort for Kylies did little to dampen the spirits of the Sailors crew after their maiden voyage into women's hockey.
This season the Sailors club took the amalgamation of the men's and women's hockey associations in Grafton as an opportunity to branch out with two women's teams.
They finished with a 1-all draw in A Grade.
"We narrowly missed out on the victory," coach Darryl Clark said.
"But everyone was happy to get out there. With the new team it's always going to be interesting to find out how the different players gel together and it wasn't too bad for a first hit-out.
"One of the challenges of having a new team is trying all the different combinations to see what works best for us.
"Sharon Speed played really well in defence and Krystal Earp in midfield."
Left striker Chelsey Hoffman finished off an attacking raid to open the scoring early in the second half for Sailors. But Kylies refused to give in and Hollis found the goal in the final minute of play.
"We never gave up and scored right at the death knock," Kylies coach Wendy Cotten said.
"We had a lovely time against Sailors, although it was very, very hot for the first game. We went all right, but there's room for improvement.
"We've had a few changes around and a lot of fresh new faces, so still working out a few combinations."
Cotten agreed having Sailors join added another dimension to the A Grade competition.
"I'm glad we've got the fifth team and we'll be glad to have a rematch in four weeks' time," she said.
Meanwhile, McAuley White could not have asked for a better start, drawing first blood with a 1-0 win over defending premiers Demons Green.
The goal came courtesy of 14-year-old right striker Grace Clark in her very first game of A Grade.