In a high energy final for the D3 grade women’s hockey championship, Warkworth and Hibiscus Dairy Flat (HDF) remained undeterred by torrential winter rain.
Despite a solid effort from both sides, Warkworth dominated on the scoreboard with an 8-0 victory, in part thanks to the great goal-keeping of Maddy Long, who denied HDF at every opportunity.
It was an incredible victory for Warkworth, claiming them the trophy in their very first season as a club.
Captain Donna Hamilton says the team might hold a record for the most goals scored in a championship.
“At 164, it is the certainly highest number of goals in a team that I’ve been a part of,” she says.
Hamilton says that having won the championship, Warkworth women’s team could potentially go up a grade next season, if not two, but that is a decision for Harbour Hockey.
“We have a lovely group of ladies who all get on well, and a great range of ages with the youngest player being 13.”
Thirteen-year-old Drue Thomas certainly held her own against sizeable HDF players, even taking one off the field with her no-holds-barred swing.
Meanwhile the Warkworth’s Men’s team, competing in D1 grade, came second in their championship, after beating Albany Birkenhead Collegians Hockey Club (ABC) on the same day as the women’s final.
“The top four teams were within eight to 10 points of each other on the board, so it was really competitive,” says spokesperson Graham Buchs.
The men have a squad of 18 people and are guaranteed at least 15 players each week at games, which is impressive considering the club had previously struggled to field a team.
Now both teams head into the finals round of the Harbour Hockey club winter competition and the standings scores are set to zero.
“Finals are a different challenge because a lower-ranked team can pull a wild card game. If they beat you it significantly dampens your chances,” Buchs says.
“We need to take it one game at a time and not underestimate whoever we are playing, focus on strengths and weakness, and play our best game.”
The final match between all the clubs will take place on August 24 at Harbour Hockey.