Men's hockey side on track for country championships grand final

WARRNAMBOOL District Hockey Association’s top men’s side is on track to play in the Victorian country championships division one grand final.

The Chris Ratcliffe-coached side finished its weekend matches in Footscray with four wins to be the only unbeaten side heading into day three.

It plays matches against Geelong and Central Victoria  this morning. The top two in the seven-side competition face off in the grand final at 3pm.

The four wins came against Sunraysia 4-0, Ballarat 2-1, Albury-Wodonga 3-2 and Goulburn Valley 3-2. 

Ratcliffe said the victory against Albury-Wodonga was a first for Warrnambool and District at the tournament.

He said team unity had been the biggest factor in the unbeaten run, with the players on the same page despite having had few training sessions together.

“We’ve been focused on controlling the game at the tempo we want to play and build the game up from the back line,” he said. “When we play it on our terms, we look really good. When we lose concentration we let the opposition back in.”

In other results at Footscray, the WDHA division two men had two wins and two losses after four of its five weekend matches.

The side, coached by Mark O’Sullivan, beat Wimmera One 3-0 and Central Victoria 1-0 but lost to Wimmera Two 1-0 and East Gippsland 2-1

Clashes against North Central late last night and Latrobe Valley this morning finish their round-robin matches. The grand final is at 2pm.

The WDHA division one women, coached by Ryan Tout, were also in country championships action at Geelong, emerging with a win, a draw and two losses.

They defeated Central Victoria 3-1, had a last-minute draw with the United States 2-2 and lost to Geelong 1-0 and Goulburn Valley 3-1.

The record was enough to lift them into a semi-final against Central Victoria this morning. The grand final is at 3.30pm.

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