KEEP LOW: Karley Browne passes the ball to a waiting player.
KEEP LOW: Karley Browne passes the ball to a waiting player.

Gympie women turn up Heat in hockey season opener

THE Cooloola Heat women had their first home game of the season on Sunday, taking on the undefeated and 2014 premiers Nambour.

The Heat came out of the blocks quickly scoring in the sixth minute.

FOCUS: Lesley Fitzpatrick lines up target.
FOCUS: Lesley Fitzpatrick lines up target.

Coach Ben Fitzpatrick said it was a great counter attack goal finished off beautifully by striker Kellie Pagel.

Both teams had some chances but by half-time neither had put them away with the Heat still leading 1-0.

The second half was a constant struggle with the ball going from one end to the other until Nambour converted a chance in the last 11 minutes to lock up the scores.

POSSESSION: Gympie’s Natalie Pagel wins tackle against Nambour’s Ashley Lammeretz
POSSESSION: Gympie’s Natalie Pagel wins tackle against Nambour’s Ashley Lammeretz

It came down to the last five minutes which featured many missed opportunities at goal due to the skill and efforts of both goal keepers which kept the score level at 1-1.

"I was pleased with the way the girls went at it," Fitzpatrick said.

"We played with a different structure which seemed to work well in the first half when we controlled possession quite well and put a lot of pressure on their (Nambour's) midfield."

He said the second half consisted of too many turnovers which put a lot of pressure on our defence.

"The girls were a lot harder and stronger on the ball which was pleasing as we worked on that at training through the week."

IN FRONT: Majella Barnes leads the pack.
IN FRONT: Majella Barnes leads the pack. James Loose

Cherie Kerr and Lesley Fitzpatrick were strong in defence and Kellie Pagel had her best game of the season at striker.

Fitzpatrick said it was a much better performance than their last game but will need to keep improving.

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