Capital League hockey round two

LAST SEASON: United HC in action against the Goulburn Geckos in Goulburn last season. Photo: Darryl Fernance
LAST SEASON: United HC in action against the Goulburn Geckos in Goulburn last season. Photo: Darryl Fernance

Round 2 of the Capital League 1 Men’s and Women’s Competition kicks off tonight, April 13, with a head-to-head clash between United Hockey Club and the Australian National University Hockey Club.

The first game scheduled to start at 6:20pm on the Carter Field will be a highly anticipated one in the Canberra Labor Club Women’s Capital League 1 Competition.

Both United and ANU have had a strong start to the season, with ANU dominating over North Canberra in a 7-2 win last week. Noted as a well-deserved win, last week’s game showcased a very strong attacking side from ANU, which included goals by Captain, Shelley Watson, Newbie, Isobel Cowell, and Striker, Dani Cribb.

A strong attack is definitely what ANU will need to bring in tonight’s game against United who welcome back a very fierce and driven Peta MacKinnon this season.

With MacKinnon’s Captaincy, United managed to take out last year’s Grand Finalists, St Patrick’s, in a 3-2 win in Round 1, illustrating that they are a force to be reckoned with in 2018.

With both teams showcasing diversity in skills and experience, it will come down to athleticism and performance in tonight’s clash.

The Duncan’s Plumbing Service Men’s Capital League 1 Competition officially welcomed the ANU Men’s team into the competition last week, which also saw the team struggle to get ahead of a very competitive Wests side.

ANU manager, Andrew Hellyer, remains positive nonetheless, and says that every game will be a learning curve for the Team who have been out of the Competition for four years now.

“It has been great to have so many people from other clubs saying how good it is for ANU to be back at the top level. That said, we are under no illusion as about the challenges ahead.”

ANU will face one of these challenges tonight in their game against a very strong and determined United Men’s Team, which brings with it a multitude of talent including previous Canberra Lakers players Luke MacKinnon, Brendan Hill, Craig Dent, Aaron Knight, and Stuart Shepherd.  

For Hellyer, however, tonight’s game will be more about game and player development than anything else.

“Our main focus this year is to develop our players and give them experience at this level. Some have played CL1 before, or the equivalent interstate, but for some this is their first exposure at this level. This year is all about experience and building towards 2019 and beyond.”

ANU will be looking to cause an upset tonight and recover from their game against Wests last week, which according to Hellyer is all just part of building experience.

“A new team will always take time to gel as a playing unit. While the score was not great there are a lot of positives to take from the game. Coach Wayne Steele has seen how the players perform in their first real hit out and the players have taken an important step in bonding as a team.

The atmosphere in the changing room after the game was remarkably positive. This week I suspect Wayne will step up the intensity and focus on the key shortcomings from the game.”

ANU will face-off against United in the Men’s match at 7:50pm tonight on the Carter Field.

This story Capital League 1 round 2 starts tonight first appeared on Goulburn Post.