Gympie's over-35 hockey men narrowly miss a state title
THE Gympie men's over-35 hockey side came within a whisker of taking its first ever state title on Sunday.
The men playing in the Division 2 final against Brisbane at Ramsey Park lost the close encounter 2-1.
Coach Neil McKean said his team put in a great effort over the weekend.
To make the final, Gympie beat a tough Gladstone outfit 1-0 in the semi.
Greg Garner slotted the match winning goal.
But McKean said the final against Brisbane could have also gone Gympie's way if they had made the most of goal scoring opportunities.
At half-time the score was locked at 1:1 and when play resumed Brisbane upped the pace.
McKean said Brisbane controlled the first 15 minutes of the second half and scored a second goal to take the lead.
But after that, it was all Gympie, with the Gold City dominating play.
John Daly, Dave Dixon and Ben Fitzpatrick all peppered the goal with no success.
"We had a lot of shots on goal to tie it up at the end but we didn't capitalise on them obviously," McKean said.
Despite the loss McKean said the "old boys" played really well.
"We are in an over 35s competition and we only had two in over 35 bracket," he said.
"The rest of the team was over 40.
"To hold our own and get in the final was a great result," he said.
It was the first time the Gympie Hockey Association had hosted the over 35 state titles and McKean said everyone he spoke to was very happy with the carnival.
He thanked the volunteers for all the hard work put in to make the titles such a success.
"Everyone loved the set-up of it all and had a great time," McKean said.
"They enjoyed the country hospitality.
"The club should have made money - it was very busy."
The eventual winner of the tournament was Bundaberg, which defeated Warwick in a penalty shoot out.