WARRNAMBOOL and District’s under 17 boys’ team fell at its final junior hockey country championships’ hurdle.
The Craig Gove-coached squad’s five-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 grand final loss to Albury-Wodonga at Essendon on Sunday.
Gove said his side went into the decider as the underdog despite its blistering form in the preliminary matches.
“I think the team that won were favourites and favourites for a reason and worthy winners,” he said.
Gove said Warrnambool and District’s scoring firepower elevated it to the pool A final.
“I was very happy and I am proud of them,” he said.
“We won every single game and didn’t concede a goal.”
Gove paid credit to full-back Ben Huf and centre-half Max Ferrier — a former Victorian representative.
He said the pair were consistent performers in a strong team effort. Huf captained the side.
“He is one of those lion-hearted kind of people,” Gove said. “As a leader he is fantastic and encourages and leads by example.”
Gove said team manager Sharon Gove was an “absolute star” who provided strong support at the two-day tournament.
Gove, a Scot who moved to the south-west in January after seven years in Townsville, is coaching and playing at Warrnambool and District club level.
His under 17 team was one of four to represent Warrnambool and District Hockey Association at the tournament, which was also played at Footscray and Greensborough. Its under 15 boys finished third in pool A with two wins, two losses and a draw.
Warrnambool and District’s under 13 boys’ team also finished third, with three wins and two losses in pool B, while its under 15 girls’ team notched one win from four games.