The giant Australian Men’s Masters Hockey Championships ended week one with a number of memorable finals at the Bunbury Hockey Stadium.
Traditional rivals Queensland and NSW did battle in the Over 40s bronze medal match, with the Waratahs edging out the Maroons 4-3.
The ‘Tahs had the better of the early exchanges and took an early lead in the 12th minute with a field goal through Marc Hawker.
But with a potent attack at their disposal, the Maroons equalised through Brad Mathers, who was giving the New South Wales defence plenty of headaches.
The two midfields fought doggedly throughout, with Damien Goodwin, Jason Baldwin, Mathers and Matthew Adamson leading the way for the Maroons against New South Wales’s Brad Bollard, Regan Smith, Chris Moylan and Ben Murray.
With the match level at 3-all heading into the closing stages, the Waratahs received a late penalty corner, which was slotted coolly by Brett Crawford, ensuring a bronze medal finish.
South West supporters were in full throat to cheer on WA Country in the Over 35s bronze medal match against Victoria, however it was a tough day at the office for the hosts, who went down 8-2.
The Vics, who finished second during the pool stage, showed no mercy against WA Country, surging to a 2-0 lead within four minutes.
Clinical possession was finished off emphatically by James Bower and Hardeep Singh, with the home side struggling at times to keep up with their opponents.
However against the run of play, Bunbury’s Daryl Silverwood gave WA Country a lifeline, finishing off some hard work from his midfielders
This would be as close as the home side would get for the remainder of the match, with Singh slotting his second two minutes later.
The visitors flexed their muscles during the second half with four goals, while Margaret River’s David Reid scored a late consolation goal for WA Country.
Despite the tough loss, WA Country’s appearance in the bronze medal match was seen as a positive.