Shepp Sport


Local trio headlines premier league hockey

Shepparton’s hockey community was treated to an epic day on Saturday, as Hockey Victoria Premier League action returned to regional Victoria. Premier League clubs Essendon and Altona went head-to-head in their round 13 fixture at the home of hockey in Shepparton. Spectators decked out McEwen Reserve for a glimpse of Premier League senior and reserve sides battling it out. The points were shared in an enthralling 2-2 draw in the senior men’s match, while Essendon clinched victory in the senior women’s (4-0), women’s reserves (4-2) and men’s reserves (4-2). Goulburn Valley Hockey Association president Cameron Druitt thanked everyone involved and said the day was a great spectacle for those in attendance. ”Thanks to all the organisers, volunteers and players that were involved,“ Druitt said. ”I thought it came together really well. ”You couldn’t get a better turnout, we didn’t take gate takings, but I’d guess between 300 to 400 people attended. ”It was a great opportunity for everyone to watch a really high-standard of hockey across four matches.“ There was no guessing which side the large crowd was cheering on, with three Shepparton players donning Essendon colours. Bomber veteran Lewis Citroen and young stars Liam Shreck and Connor Holland flew the local flag in the men’s senior match. And what a match it was. Locked on 18 points and sitting eighth and ninth on the ladder, the Seagulls and Bombers played out a gripping 2-2 contest. All four goals were scored in the second half, with Shreck blasting home the equaliser in the dying stages. Druitt said he was proud to see three GVHA products plying their trade on the big stage, while he acknowledged two former Shepparton and Altona stars. ”To see those three out there representing the region and showcasing their talents was a really proud moment,“ Druitt said. ”It gives our juniors a glimpse at what they can strive to become as hockey players. ”But it was also a great opportunity to acknowledge past players, Matthew Higgins and Matthew Guest, and everything they have achieved in the sport.“ Druitt said he would love to replicate the huge success and enjoyment from Saturday’s festivities again. ”We would love to do the same thing again next year,“ he said. ”We have a few ideas, we’d like to involve the Goulburn Valley under-18s side. ”They play in the same league as Essendon and Altona, so it’d be great to have them play on the same day too. ”It’s a weekend that we want to continue and hopefully it can become an annual event.“

Aydin Payne


Citizen Kane helps South get the gold

SCORES Shepparton South 3 (Aitken 7’, Radevski 13’, Kareem 88’) d Shepparton 0 Dead ball finesse has propelled Shepparton South to a 3-0 success against cross-town counterparts Shepparton in a round 13 clash of the Bendigo Amateur Soccer League. South was in set piece heaven at Vibert Reserve with the bulk of their goals resulting from free kicks, a point of difference coach Gino Saracino highlighted as somewhat of a strategy for his side. ’It was a really pleasing result after having been inconsistent the past couple of weeks, not in terms of the results, but more so the performances,‘ Saracino said. ’They could have scored a couple early on and individually they had four or five really good players, so we knew we had to watch out for them. ’I think we have scored 24 goals this year and 10 of those have come from set pieces, which is good to see.‘ After a couple of early scares, South made its mark on the match in the seventh minute with talisman striker Joel Aitken scoring with usual aplomb to have his tally reach 10 in as many games. Continuous pressure paid dividends shortly after for the visitors as Shaun Kane’s pinpoint free kick was met by the head of Nathan Radevski to double the Southerners’ advantage. Down but certainly not out, Shepparton refused to roll over, but South’s robust backline stopped every Reds attacking venture. The second half brought much of the same for Shepparton who, despite industrious movement in the attacking third, was thwarted by the Southerners defensive presence. With the game drawing to a close, another piece of magic off the boot of Kane from a set play was headed home by Kabir Larry Casey Kareem to put the game to bed. The win places South in fifth, five points behind Tatura, and facing Eaglehawk this Sunday Saracino is wary of the challenge the opposition presents. ’We play the best team this weekend in my opinion, they are very robotic in the way they play, so we will do our best with a 15-man squad instead of 11 or 12 hopefully,‘ he said. ’I will give opportunities to the blokes who want to play.‘

Liam Nash