Reigning premiers in strong start to men’s competition

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
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Mt Barker's Reece Curwen takes on North Albany's Tim Burns.
Camera IconMt Barker's Reece Curwen takes on North Albany's Tim Burns. Credit: Laurie Benson

Defending premiers Mt Barker started their new campaign with victory over North Albany when the Albany Retravision Lower Great Southern Hockey Association men’s A-grade season kicked off on Saturday.

After claiming the men’s title last year to cap an impressive first season in the competition, Mt Barker started strongly with a 3-1 win over North Albany, led by youngster Harry Barbour and gun midfielder Reece Curwen.

Curwen was in dominant touch and linked up well with Barbour as their side opened their account courtesy of goals from Rick Wise, Alex Fergie and Ollie Bond.

North Albanys goalkeeper Tom Dinneen clears the ball from his area.
Camera IconNorth Albanys goalkeeper Tom Dinneen clears the ball from his area. Credit: Albany Advertiser

Alex Bott scored the sole Redbacks goal, with goalkeeper Tom Dinneen producing some solid saves to deny Mt Barker getting further ahead.

Andre Gabriel and Tim Burns were also solid contributors in the first outing of the season.

North Albany's Leander McQuade and Mt Barker's Harry Barber contest the ball.
Camera IconNorth Albany's Leander McQuade and Mt Barker's Harry Barber contest the ball. Credit: Albany Advertiser

In the other opening round men’s fixture, Spencer Park were able to shake off a scoreless first half on their way to a win over Manypeaks.

Neither side were able to break the deadlock in the first half but goals to Jack Dawson and Hennie Botha ensured Park came out with a 2-1 win.

Sam Brown was terrific in the victory, along with Oscar Latham, while Peaks’ goal came off the stick of David Pyle and they were well led by Tim Pyle in defeat.

Meanwhile, a brilliant four-goal performance from Mt Barker’s Shaydn Gardner lifted her side to a 5-2 win over Peaks in round 5 of the women’s A-grade competition.

Gardner slotted home the first goal of the contest to give Mt Barker a 1-0 half-time lead before Peaks hit back through Maddison Scade eight minutes into the second half.

Mt Barker, though, began to control possession in midfield through Amy Sandilands and Jessica McPartland, and Gardner again put her side in front with a field goal.

Gardner made it a hat-trick when she converted a penalty corner and later added a fourth goal to put her side 5-1 ahead.

Meg Slattery set up Sienna Ball beautifully in the area to help restore some respectability for Peaks late in the piece but the match belonged to Gardner.

Earlier, Park jumped to second on the ladder with a 2-0 win over Tigers after goals from Chloe Westerberg and Rachael Goetze.

Annie Judd was strong in defence and was well supported by Westerberg and Goetze in the attacking half while for Tigers, Charlotte Powis, Hollee Taylor and Georgie Powis worked hard throughout the 70 minutes.

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