Half State Championship of the highest quality
The NSW Northern Half State Championships, which were held at Hepburn Park over the weekend, showcased some of the talent which keeps Australia on top of the world in international hockey. The skill level, speed and commitment of players during the championship was inspiring and it is hardly surprising that the two Far North Coast sides fell just short of the finals. As it turned out the traditionally powerful Tamworth team grabbed the division one title over North Shore and the second North Shore squad defeated Hastings in the second division final.
Premier Hockey League
The JH Williams Premier Hockey League started in earnest on Friday night with East Lismore getting the better of arch rival Northern Star 2-nil, while traditionally powerful Coraki scratched out a dogged 2-1 win over Alstonville, who played with great passion.
In the only other locally contested match the premiers, Ballina, took on United in Murwillumbah. Scratching for numbers and coming into the match in poor form, the seasiders lifted in the last half to snatch victory 2-1.
This Saturday Easts will be keen to keep their winning spree going when they welcome the Allstars to Hepburn Park at 4.20pm as will Coraki who take on the Waratahs in Lismore at 7.10pm.
Meanwhile, Alstonville travel to Hunt Park for their match against Mudgee and Ballina travel to Murwillumbah for their match against Mullumbimby.
In the womens premier league Easts play Casuarina at home on Saturday at 2.55pm. Glee are also at home to Waratahs at 5.45pm and then back up on Sunday against Helensvale on the Gold Coast. Mudgee will be tested on Saturday against Northern Star at Hunt Park and Ballina will take on Mullum in Murwillumbah on Saturday.