Youth get the job done for Bears in captain’s absence
HOCKEY MEN: Grafton City Bears young guns were able to get the job done against a strong Barbs line-up in the absence of new captain Mick Russ.
In what was described as a scrappy contest between the sides by Barbs captain Josh Wainwright, the teams traded goals before Brayden Lollback hit a late winner for the City Bears unit to win 3-2.
Bears stand-in skipper James Wilks was proud of his young players who stepped it up a gear against Barbarians.
"It was good for our side to get the win," Wilks said. "I thought it was a really good game.
"All the young fellas in our side really stepped up in the absence of Russy.
"We had Pollo (Mark Pollack) out as well so we were really missing a lot of experience across the field.
"Benny Jurd had a blinder and so did Eli Fahey who started on field for us this game."
Wainwright said his side were missing some of their more experienced guys for the first game of the season and expects their efforts to only improve over the season.
"It was a pretty scrappy game to be honest," Wainwright said. "I don't think either side will be really proud of how they played.
"It's the first game of the season so you can't expect too much. Both sides were missing a couple for the first game of the season and it showed."
After a long off season with little hockey Wainwright said his side would be better for the run.
"We have a few from Yamba and Coffs that can't get to training each week, so we will be better for the run together," he said.
"A lot of the boys haven't picked up a stick since last season."
- In the other Men's Premier League action, Clocktower Hotel Royals got their premierhsip defence off to a flying start with a dominant 4-2 showing against Sailors. Royals were without captain and 2015 Clubperson of the Year Matt Lobsey for the first round.