Nelson Bay hockey stalwarts inspire Hunter to Over 50s NSW Masters Hockey State Championship title

Hunter Over 50s womens hockey team were crowned joint champions with Central Coast at this year’s NSW Masters Hockey State Championships in Taree.

THE CREAM of Nelson Bay’s senior hockey talent have reason to smile after sharing the spoils at this year’s NSW Masters Hockey State Championship in Taree.

Six Bay stalwarts featured in the all-conquering Hunter squad that finished joint champions with Central Coast in the Over 50 Womens category.

They were Nelson Bay Hockey Club president Cathy Churchill, Nicole Mulder, Claire Hendley, Juliet O’Rourke, Margy Galloway and ace attacker Roslyn Pollock.

Another player to shine was Scone product Linda Hunt, who played a key role in helping the Hunter side register three wins and three draws in a competitive division.

Hunter and Central Coast were declared joint winners of the State Masters Northern Conference title after posting a nil-all draw in the Grand Final at Taree Hockey Centre.

A jubilant Churchill told News Of The Area that “winning a Masters title is a huge honour”.

“We remained undefeated for the entire carnival and turned in mighty defensive displays including two scoreless draws with a powerful Central Coast line up,” Cathy quipped.

Hunter recorded wins over Manning Valley (2-1), New England (1-0) and Northern Inland (1-0) and drew with Central Coast and Newcastle (1-1).

The Hunter Over 45s women’s team, coached by the inspirational Santah Upton Nel, narrowly missed a finals berth at the Masters Carnival.

It included a strong Nelson Bay contingent in Roxy Kabayama, Karen Torkington, Danielle Fisher, Melinda Anderson, Gail Cathcart and classy centre half Sheree Antonio.

Other team members were the talented Rebecca Murphy, Eileen Donaldson, Jenni Smith, Nat Fullick and Joanne Blair.

“Each season the girls improve their skills, fitness and knowledge of the game,” declared Cathy.

“The weekend is a time for women to enjoy the game they love from the ages of 34 to 80 plus.

“Many women have played the game since their youth and others have just started and enjoy the exercise and friendship,” she exclaimed.

“Our club at Nelson Bay encourages all players of any skill level to come along and have a crack,” Cathy added.

By Chris KARAS

The Hunter Over 45s women’s hockey team narrowly missed a finals berth after solid performances at the NSW Masters Hockey State Championships.

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