SOUTH-WEST Victorian hockey players have wrapped up junior state championships with four wins and seven draws.
The South West Country Eagles' four teams showed improvement but were ultimately outclassed by stronger metropolitan squads at the annual titles.
The under 15 boys was the best-performed Eagles team at the four-day competition in Melbourne.
It had two wins and two losses in its nine round-robin matches, but lost a seven-versus-eighth playoff to South East Country 3-1.
The under 15 girls were also competitive but their efforts went largely unrewarded on the scoreboard.
A 3-1 victory against North West Country in a ninth-versus-10th playoff followed three draws and a host of close losses.
The under 13 boys had one win but lost to South East Country 1-0 in the ninth-versus-10th playoff.
The under 13 girls ended the titles with two draws. They lost their ninth-versus-10th playoff 1-0 to South East Country.
Eagles co-ordinator Cheyne Hackett said the performances, if not the results, were a stark improvement on last year.
"We only had three games out of the 30 that were blowouts," he said.
"Last year there were much further out results. We were much more competitive this year.
"There were a whole heap of 1-0s, 2-1s. It showed we're not really far off," he said.
Hackett said hockey officials would host regional development days during the off-season to capitalise on the improvement shown by the youngsters.
"The coaches were over the moon considering a number of players were bottom-age in each of our age groups," he said.
"That combined with the chances over the next 12 months will put us in great stead for next year."
The under 17 junior state championships will be held on September 23 -25 at Bendigo.