U16s dominate in final

Smithton’s under-16 side won Hockey Tasmania’s North West grand final.

Hockey. Smithton under-16s travelled to Devonport to meet the team who had beaten them easily two weeks earlier to earn the right to host the grand final.

Smithton came out of the blocks firing catching their more fancied opponents by surprise, and forcing them into making uncharacteristic mistakes.

The Saints’ forwards and midfielders were able to execute the game plan which had been developed and drilled into the players all season, forcing Devonport to constantly defend and never able to mount an attack.

Smithton were rewarded for their dominance 10 minutes in when Toby Reeve pounced on a loose ball in the circle to put the first score on the board.

Smithton were a player down on the restart allowing Devonport to gain some territory and score twice in the final five minutes of the first half to take a 2-1 lead.

At the half-time break Smithton were asked to stick to their game plan as it had been successful all year.

The players came out refreshed but under the pump due to the revved-up opposition. Kira Johnson and Austinn Bakes repelled waves of attacks sending the ball back into attack through half-backs Connor Poke and Sam Porteus-Smith. Callum Poke was playing as if possessed and proved unstoppable in goals.

Smithton’s constant use of interchanges kept its players from tiring and gradually they were able to get on top and keep control of the ball for longer periods.

Maddison Poke and Toby Reeve combined well in attack and created several scoring opportunities. Reeve skilfully scored from another loose clearance.  Maddison slammed another in moments later to put the team in front with five minutes remaining. Smithton were able to post another giving it to a two-goal lead again through Reeve.

Smithton defended with vigour knowing the game was theirs for the keeping, running out 4-2 victors.

Smithton Saints player Rhys Burgess capped off the night being named association Best and Fairest with Maddison Poke awarded runner up.



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