WA Country men still in the hunt for gold medal game after draw with hosts at Australian Country Championships

Calvin SimsAlbany Advertiser
Friends and family show their support for WA.
Camera IconFriends and family show their support for WA. Credit: Hockey WA

WA’s Country men’s hockey side remains in the hunt for a goal medal at the Australian Country Championships in Shepparton after their draw with Victoria on Tuesday.

The WA squad was fourth in the standings after four days, enduring a mixed start to their campaign with one win, one draw and two losses.

They dropped their first two games of the annual championships, losing 6-2 to New South Wales on Saturday before going down 3-1 to Queensland on Sunday.

They bounced back with a 4-1 triumph over ADF as Bunbury’s Brayden Dalton netted two goals before fighting their way to a 2-2 draw against hosts Victoria on Tuesday afternoon.

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Lake Grace-Kukerin’s Fletcher Taylor opened scores for WA in the 32nd minute but consecutive goals to Victoria’s Jayden Schram and Ethan Anderson stunned the WA side in the 35th and 41st minute.

Proficient striker Dalton saved the day, slamming home the equaliser to secure a crucial point in their bid to reach a second grand final in as many years.

WA’s representative outfit won a silver medal in last year’s country carnival held in Albany, heartbreakingly losing the decider 5-0 to Queensland.

ADF and South Australia are below WA in fifth and sixth respectively.

WA played SA in their final pool game on Wednesday at 1.15pm WA time.

At the conclusion of the qualifying games, first place will meet fourth place in a semifinal for a chance to advance to the decider while third and fourth also clash in the second semifinal.

The fifth- and sixth-placed teams will also play a fifth-placed playoff classification match.

Hockey WA women's squad.
Camera IconHockey WA women's squad. Credit: Hockey WA

The winner in each of the semifinals will play in the gold medal match on Saturday at 1pm WA time while the losers will clash in the bronze medal game earlier in the day at 9am.

Meanwhile, WA’s women’s side is still searching for a maiden win at the championships, losing their first four opening matches heavily against NSW, Queensland, ADF and Victoria.

They played SA in their final pool game on Wednesday.

In their 5-0 loss to Victoria on Tuesday, Lourdes Estigarria scored a hat-trick while Chelsie Hird and captain Kelsey Ratcliffe also found the back of the net.

NSW were on top the standings ahead of Queensland, ADF, VIC, SA and WA.

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