Ladies' hockey doubles power
GYMPIE will roll out two strong teams for the Ladies' Masters Queensland Hockey Championships in Brisbane this weekend.
Gympie One team coach David Dixon said this would be the fourth year in a row Gympie had representation at the championships and the first time Gympie had fielded two sides.
"It is an enormous credit to the Gympie region that there is the depth in ladies' hockey to send two teams," he said.
Gympie One would field a strong side in division four after they gained promotion courtesy of winning the division five title in Rockhampton in 2011.
The team would be led by former state junior representative Deborah Cross and would include new selections Alison Huth, Melita Lee, Leah Schulz and former Brisbane and Queensland representative Robbie Gunning.
Dixon said Gympie One warmed up last month with the Southern Cross Division Two tournament in Toowoomba and things were looking good for the side as they completed the tournament undefeated.
However, he said the team had a tough road ahead of them for the championships, with pool games against tough contenders Townsville Two, Mt Isa and Ipswich Two.
"They must finish in the top two to qualify for the semi-finals," Dixon said.
Gympie Two would play in division six and would field several players who were new to Masters hockey in division six but would also benefit from experienced campaigners in the side including Heather Kelly, Gloria Weller and Merril Patrick. "The team will need to finish top of their round robin pool in order to qualify for the final on Monday," Dixon said.
"There are no semi-finals to be played in this division.
"The challenge for both sides will be that all of the games will be played on grass which is a foreign experience for many who are used to the hybrid artificial surface in Gympie."
To add an extra twist, if either of the teams made the final, they would play on water-based surfaces at the State Hockey Centre at Colmslie. "Water-based hockey pitches are often quite bouncy and many players take some time to adapt," he said.
Deborah Cross, Katrina Menchini, Lesley Fitzpatrick, Kim Rogers, Alison Huth, Leah Schulz, Cristelle Jones, Robbie Gunning, Jody Cousins, Vicki Hyam, Di Dixon, Linda Dray, Tanya Grant, Melita Lee
(Coach: David Dixon. Manager: Mick Grant)
Gloria Weller, Rhonda Wood, Alycon Parke, Catherine Parker, Carla Reinke, Donna Hourigan, Christine Blacka, Heather Kelly, Sally Castle, Tarsha Johnston, Retha Ketterer, Stephanie Butler, Merril Patrick
(Coach: Geoff Huth. Manager: Debbie Mackay)