Gympie men win Coulter Shield
GYMPIE has won its first Coulter Shield after the under 18 men’s hockey side returned from Toowoomba with the trophy on Sunday.
They are now rated the number one hockey side in South-East Queensland after winning six of seven games over two weekends.
The first day of competition was played at the Gold Coast, when Gympie beat Brisbane two 2-1, Sunshine Coast 3-1 and Toowoomba 1-0.
On Sunday at Toowoomba they beat Gold Coast 2-1, Tweed 5-0 and Brisbane 2-1 before losing to Ipswich 1-0.
Coach Dom Stephens said his team was out on its feet in their fourth game of the day and came up against a fresher Ipswich who were only playing their third game.
“The boys knew even if they lost they had won the shield, so there wasn’t a lot to play for,” he said.
“The boys’ effort was awesome. They were the most switched-on team there, and they really wanted to win.
“I was really proud of the way they performed in the Gympie shirt.”
Stephens gave a big wrap to Drew Wenzel after he threw caution to the wind to play at the weekend.
“Drew flies out to Western Australia for the Queensland team this week and could have been forgiven for taking the weekend off.
“He came and put his body on the line for Gympie.
“Everyone played well, in particular our backline and midfield,” he said.
The Gympie team gets a break from training this week after a taxing weekend, but will play in the Wide Bay carnival this weekend.
Gympie will be depleted by the loss of Wenzel and Joey Collins who are both on State duty, but Stephens is hoping the other boys take a step up for the Gympie shirt.