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Hockey News – What a week!

State Knockout Carnival (Pines) six games.
Game 5: SMC 4 – St Ignatius 0

SMC played in their first ever State Knockout Championship and came through a little disappointed but satisfied and proud of their efforts. Our participation in this event was in jeopardy given that we needed to play at least five female players, and thankfully five female students volunteered to allow us to participate and wow, what a great job they did! It was a long and tiring day for everyone as we stood up against the best Middle School Hockey teams from across South Australia. The pressure was on early as we opposed what turned out to be the top two teams straight up. It was an impressive performance all day from the St Michael’s team as we ended with just one goal away from second position. The performance and attitude from the female debutantes were first rate all day as they started to learn to get into good positions, and never hesitated to step in as part of the action.

Remarkably all five girls played full minutes in all six games, even though they had never played or trained before. These champions allowed us to have a crack at winning and they received the admiration of the players and staff and were deserving of their ovation at the end of the games. Well done to Jasmine Gibbons (a natural), Garima Saddi (two goals), Chloe Payne (great attacking flair), Caitlin Coppola and Natasha Kannane (great work in attack and defense).

Our more experienced boys had a huge load to carry across the day and they stood up gallantly proving that they had the strength, skill and speed to match it, and even surpass the state’s best! Everyone should be proud of the way the team represented our school. Special shout out to Henry for great goal keeping throughout the day. It was also a great opportunity for our more senior players to strut their stuff!

To wrap up the six games played on Tuesday, we had three wins, one draw, and two losses for a third place.

Overall Goals: K Ballentine-Brain 4, M Ucinek 4, G Saddi 2, J Ucinek 1

The very next day we had to all get back up for our regular competition game against St Ignatius at the PAC field. The gloomy weather and the delayed start added to our early lethargy for a nil all score at half time. However, the spark returned throughout the second half demonstrating perseverance, patience and patterns. The team quickly took control of the game and showed their dominance.

Joshua Ucinek was precise in his ball control and his passing as we started to be rewarded for our forward thrusts. Kheya Ballentine-Brain started to run forward with control and finished off with two forceful forward strikes for goal. Michael Krenczeck remained solid throughout the entire game, reinforcing the structure he has brought to the team in his first season. Matthew Walker showed that he is gaining valuable experience and is developing well into a solid and reliable contributor. After a strong day in goals on Tuesday, Henry McCaffrey backed this up in the position again, however our superior general play meant that he could take a well earned rest for most of the game.

Our opposition has declared an early forfeit for our Week 6 game so we will have an opportunity to rest up next week before returning to finish the season with strength.

Breaking News: We have been asked to play Trinity in the Intercol in Thursday, Week 8!

Best: J Ucinek, M Krenczeck, B Smith, B Ross

Goals: K Ballentine-Brain 2, T Ballentine-Brain 1, J Ucinek 1

Mr John Lambert, Deputy Principal – Pastoral and Mr Justin Emerson, Teacher

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