Missing key players leads to draw
WITH a home ground advantage Coffs Southside managed to scramble to a draw against Barbarians in the third round of the Grafton Men’s A-grade hockey competition on Sunday.
With both sides missing key players the 3-3 result gave little indication of how the teams will fair this season.
However Southside coach Wayne Edwards was quick to point out Barbarians are looking like favourites to take out the title.
“We were happy with the draw especially as we were missing a few players,” Edwards said.
“We actually struggled to field a team and we had two young Division 2 players as late inclusions, Justin Alford and Wes Khalil helped make up the squad of 12.”
Edwards nominated Chris Shipman as a standout player for his side.
“Chris did a wonderful job controlling the centre and although Barbarians deserved to win the game, we’ll take the draw,” he said.
Barbarian’s Nick Inmon also said his side were pleased to come away with a draw as the Coffs Synthetic Field hasn’t been a happy hunting ground in past seasons.
“Although Southside were well below strength and we were missing Jimmy Callaghan it was good to come away with some points,” Inmon said.
“Traditionally we struggle to win at Coffs...in fact our record there is fairly poor.”
Barbarians came out of the blocks at speed with two unanswered goals in 10 minutes but once Southside got into their rhythm Dean and Laurie Herbert weaved their magic scoring crucial goals.
Barbarians got off to the perfect start in the second half but according to Inmon fitness proved to be their downfall in the final quarter.
“A lack of fitness kicked in late in the game and Coffs managed to salvage a draw. The Coffs surface was like a skating rink and hasn’t really recovered from last year’s floods,” he said.
“Players were continually slipping over and finding it difficult to grip.”
For Barbarians Laurie and Troy Urquhart were dynamic with Troy picking up the Players’ Player award.
At Grafton on Saturday City Bears outgunned a new-look Sailors side 4-0.
The final score could have blown out more if not for Bears’ star striker Mark Pollock having an off-day in the circle and missing several attempts close to the goalmouth.
Match of the round next week between City Bears and Southside should be a cracker although word is Bears captain Dave Dart will be unavailable, which would be a massive blow for his side.
Southside on the other hand will welcome the return of three key players in Reece and Heath Edwards and Tim Anderson.
City Bears v Southside 3.30 Monday
Barbarians v Royals 4.45 Monday