Tanya Grant goes on the attack for the Cooloola Heat women in their narrow loss to All Blacks 2-1.
Tanya Grant goes on the attack for the Cooloola Heat women in their narrow loss to All Blacks 2-1. Craig Warhurst

Good first encounter for resurrected women's side

IT WAS an unlucky but successful return to the field for the Cooloola Heat women's hockey side on Saturday night.

The women's side has been resurrected under the guidance of coach Ben Fitzpatrick after more than a five-year hiatus from the Premier League.

The Heat went down 2-1 at Ramsey Park but easily could have had a win in their first outing.

Unluckily, the Heat dropped a goal early in the match after an own goal went into the box.

One of the new rules introduced into hockey this year means if the ball is touched by a defender in the circle, even if it hasn't been touched by an attacker, and it goes in the box it is deemed a goal.

Normally the attacking side would have been awarded a long corner.

The setback didn't slow the enthusiasm of the Heat with the girls throwing everything at the Bundaberg side.

At half-time the score was still 1-0 and the Heat looked to still be in the game.

After a good talk from Ben Fitzpatrick, the girls went back on to the paddock looking to attack.

They went close to scoring on a number of occasions with the ball just spearing wide of the box.

An All Black counter attack saw them score in the 45th minute and the Heat were down 2-0.

The Heat struck back quickly when a pin-point Lesley Fitzpatrick pass found Melinda Baker in the circle.

Baker dribbled around an advancing keeper and drover the ball into the back of the net.

From there the Heat looked the goods and could have levelled the score on a number of occasions but the All Black hung on to take the win. Fitzpatrick said he was happy with his girls' first performance saying they could only improve in future games.

Some of the Heat's best performers were youngsters Kellie Pagel and Keely McKean with older players Melinda Baker, Lesley Fitzpatrick and Tanya Grant showing they could still match it with the younger players.

Gympie Times


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