Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two down but UC confident

Four-time premiership player Meredith Bone is adamant the University of Canberra can reclaim its mantle as the best team in the Hockey ACT first-grade competition despite failing to fire in the opening rounds of the season.

UC is still searching for its first win after struggling against an impressive Central outfit and suffering a 5-1 defeat at Lyneham on Sunday.

It continues the changing of the guard with traditional powerhouse UC ushering in a new generation and Central's ''ragged bunch'' building for a tilt at the title.

Bone played in four of UC's five consecutive premierships from 2007-2011 but is trying to help lead a team of young players into a new era.

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''We've got a lot of new players and the new blood is good, it's just about trying to get the structure in with so many changes,'' Bone said.

''It's been a slow start, but I definitely think we can build and once we do start clicking I think we'll be a force. When we were dominant and winning grand finals, I think there's only a few of us left.''

Two goals in the opening five minutes set up Central's victory.

Bec Sneskov scored from a penalty stroke before Brooke Suitor got the first of her three goals in the match. UC snatched a consolation goal late, but Central controlled the match.

New Central coach Chris Hotchkis is off to the perfect start with two wins from two games.

Despite playing for the Central men's team, Hotchkis led the ANU women's team into the grand final last year in his first season as a coach. Now he is back where he has spent his hockey career and he has high hopes for helping Central chase a title.

''We didn't have a lot of players at the start of the year and we're still a bit of a ragged bunch,'' Hotchkis said ''Our No. 1 goal is just to make the top four and then we'll reassess if we hopefully make it into the finals.''

Meanwhile, St Patrick's overcame a one-goal deficit and seven players missing through ACT under-21s duty to snatch a 2-2 draw with Old Canberrans.

CENTRAL 5 (Brooke Suitor 3, Bec Sneskov, Trina Dooley) def UNIVERSITY OF CANBERRA 1 (Reita Holmes); ST PATRICK'S 2 (Emma Taylor, Kelsey Davis) drew with OLD CANBERRANS 2 (Catriona Bailey-Price, Bella Apps); UNITED 1 (Haylie Sibley) def NORTH CANBERRA 0; ANU 4 (Lou Robinson 2, Jess Roche 2) drew with TUGGERANONG 4.


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