Mt Barker set to withdraw, hopes of being replaced
Just one week into the new Lower Great Southern Hockey Association season, there will be a dramatic change in the men’s A-grade competition, with Mt Barker set to withdraw.
Mt Barker, the premiers of the past two seasons, had been struggling to find enough players to field an A-grade team but they entered the first week of competition with one A-grade side and one B-grade.
Mt Barker forfeited their opening-round clash to Spencer Park-Tigers on Saturday in the A-grade competition and, following a LGSHA meeting on Monday, will more than likely withdraw.
Mt Barker will withdraw from the A-grade ranks and the LGSHA is scrambling to replace them in the early part of the season to ensure the men’s top competition stays with four teams.
It has been confirmed to the Albany Advertiser the likely solution is a fourth men’s A-grade team will play under the banner of Vikings, a club that has joined the women’s A-grade ranks.
Players are now being sought for the Vikings men’s team in the hope they can play this weekend.
LGSHA president Sam Brown confirmed the likely changes after it had become difficult for Mt Barker to field an A-grade team.
“It is likely that Mt Barker will not have an A-grade team this year,” Brown said. “The association is looking to form a fourth Albany team made up of players from Mt Barker and other teams.
“We are hopeful that fourth team is ready to go this weekend.
“It’s looking likely to be a Vikings A-grade side and that matches in with (the) women’s side.
“They are likely to slot straight into the Mt Barker fixtures.
“Mt Barker have a small amount of core players left and it became too difficult.”
Mt Barker were set to play Manypeaks on Saturday afternoon in round 2 of the men’s A-grade competition, with that more than likely being Vikings now.
In the results from the opening round, Peaks scored a 4-3 win over North Albany in the men’s A-grade on Saturday afternoon.
Chris Metcalfe scored a double and was well supported by Tim Metcalfe and Tim Pyle in the win.
In the women’s A-grade, Mt Barker and Peaks drew 1-1 in their season-opener.
Sienna Ball scored for Peaks and Mt Barker star Laura Archer found the back of the net for the visitors, but the two sides shared the points, failing to break the deadlock in the final quarter.
On Sunday night, North Albany won the grand final rematch against Spencer Park 3-2 after goals from Cionne Fage, Beck Gallimore and Kylee Ferrell. Redbacks led 2-1 at three-quarter-time and then went 3-1 up before Park scored a late consolation goal.
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