Hockey juniors in form

U/16s. Another fast start saw the Smithton Saints jump to a 3-0 lead at the 10-minute mark of the game against the top of the table team, Burnie Baptist Blue.

The Saints’ slick ball movement put Baptist on the back foot as Eddie Popowski converted a penalty corner and then scored his second goal with a dynamic shot from the edge of the circle.

Later in the game, the ball went from Connie Perry to Daria Reeve to Royce Jackson to Sam Porteus-Smith who converted Smithton’s third.

For the remainder of the first half both teams’ backs stood strong with Saints’ Perry, Ben Forsyth and Porteus-Smith stopping everything.

After the break coach Andrew Hine went back to his starting 11 and six minutes in, a slick pass by Liam McLaren put Porteus-Smith into space and a one-on-one with the goalie, which brought up his second as the ball went into the back of the net.

Reeve was becoming a good target at centre forward and minutes later helped to put Porteus-Smith into the same situation, but this time the goalie won.

Baptist again stepped up the tempo in what was already a fast game. The Saints’ defence was holding strong with goalie Alex Eatts making some great saves.

Baptist scored with 10 minutes left on the clock and then scored again with six minutes to go. As the pressure mounted, Perry made a great diving save to prevent Baptist’s third.

Hine changed his game structure, which once again had the Saints back in control to finish the game with a 4-2 win.

Next week, the Saints take on West Devonport in Smithton on Friday night at 8pm.

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