Hockey. The Tasmanian over 35s masters hockey team has gone back-to-back and successfully defended their national title by winning the 2013 national championship at Sydney’s Olympic Park last week.
Smithton Saints hockey club veteran Jason Lynch played as the team’s goal keeper, and helped the team secure the championship win by conceding a miserly nine goals over the seven matches.
Most of the Tasmanian matches were played in temperatures above 30⁰c which made for tough playing conditions and this made the team’s success even more remarkable.
In the five-pool matches Tasmania finished second on the ladder with three wins, one loss and one draw. They played NSW in the semi-final and won 3-0 and then in the grand final defeated Victoria 1-0.
The grand final was an action packed and intensely fought out match with neither side able to score until midway through the second half when Jeremy Stebbings slotted the ball low into the goals to give Tasmania a 1-0 lead. For the remainder of the match Tassie defended resolutely and bottled up play deep inside the Victorian defensive half to grind out a memorable victory.
In attack the Tasmanian side scored a championship-high of 21 goals for the tournament, with Sean Carey’s penalty corner drag flicking proving unstoppable as he put in five goals, Mat Selby led the way by scoring three field goals and the other goals came from nine different players.
The mid-field of Brett Withington and Marty Bissett proved decisive as they relentlessy transferred play into the forward line and made life tough for the opposition, as they tried to push into the Tasmanian defensive half.
The Tasmanian defensive effort included playing coach Stephen McMullen, Peter Boyles, Forbes Appleby and Jason Lynch. Together they proved very successful in shutting down the opposition attacking plays and making life very difficult for any would-be goal scorer.