THREE Warrnambool District Hockey Association members are this week celebrating national championships glory.
Kyme Rowe, Anna Dyson and Terri Burke helped the Victorian over 40 women’s squad claim gold at the Australian Masters’ Hockey Championships.
The Vics defeated New South Wales 2-1 in the grand final in Darwin on Saturday, turning the tables after two lopsided defeats earlier in the tournament.
They needed a three-goal win against Tasmania in their final preliminary match to qualify for the grand final and produced their best hockey when it mattered.
Dyson, a defender who had a crucial tagging role in the decider, said the achievement was “not bad for three country girls”.
“It’s nice to come home with gold,” she said.
“It was unlikely (we’d win) but because we’d held them to half-time in the other matches we knew what we had to do, we had to do it together,” she said.
“We were certainly the underdogs and it was nice not to have the pressure of expectation. But we weren’t going out there and letting them take it easy.
“The last few minutes, they would’ve had five penalty corners ... that was the biggest scoring opportunity for the match and our defence held strong.”
Dyson said the Victorians’ tactic to have two players mark NSW gun Sharon Williams was a key factor in the upset result.
Williams, an Australian representative, had led the way in the sides’ previous meetings, which NSW won 4-0 and 3-1.
“They fed everything through her. She’s played in the Australian team before. She’s a very good player,” Dyson said. “We eliminated her but not only that, everyone else did their job individually and as a team. It all came together.”
Over 40s coach Ryan Tout said he was proud his “unbelievable group” could claim the title — the only Victorian side to do so.
“There was massive belief from the girls. The quote we had was ‘third time lucky but we don’t need luck, we have the team’,” he said.
“They believed they were a better team in terms of they were committed to each other a lot more than New South Wales, who relied on their guns.”
Tout said the Warrnambool trio emerged from the week with their heads high and reputations enhanced.
“Through the week Terri was a really big contributor as a defender. Her outletting was really good,” he said.
“And the same with Anna, she did play as a defender most of the week but her most outstanding game was in the final. She didn’t get a lot of the ball but she stopped Sharon from getting any of the ball at all.
“And Kyme, she absolutely tore it up through the midfield and forward line all week. Her ability to keep running and the distances she did was phenomenal.”
A fourth WDHA member, Jackie Anderton, helped the Victorian over 50 side place fourth at the same championships.
The Vics finished fourth after their preliminary matches but lost to Queensland 3-0 in a semi-final.