Northern hockey fans have plenty to see this week, with ex-Kookaburra Tim Deavin taking the field for his home club Tamar Churinga as it celebrates 80 years.
Tamar is playing ladder-leader Queechy in the late game. The last time Deavin graced Northern hockey grounds, Tamar recorded its only victory for the year – his influence on the centre an obvious boost for the side.
Tamar drew with Devonport last week in a solid show of team unity spearheaded by Kieran Dunning and Rohan John, with some solid keeping by Eugene Van Niekerk. Queechy is the standout side of the competition, with Tom Moir in defence controlling most of the forward ball movement to the Withington brothers and Evan Lawrence up front.
Launceston City hosts West Devonport in the early game. City has good numbers with a mix of the club’s older players. Dominic Gill has lost nothing and should be in the mix this week. West has a largely junior side still learning its craft, improving with every outing and coach Fred Bessell would be viewing this as the best chance to break their losing streak.
Devonport hosts South Burnie at Meercroft for what should be another close if not scrappy affair. The Hawks are in the four, but coach Jarrod Bomford will be aware of the fighting spirit of the Subbies. Mick Williams and Ben Loone worked hard last week for little result, but rest assured they will be in the mix again.
South Launceston travels to Smithton for what will be a danger game, as the Smithton side return to full strength with Nigel Kingston back in defence and Brandon Chan in attack. If they put together four quarters, they must be considered a chance.
The Suns pulled a win over City last week in an ugly game that was allowed to get out of hand, with a lack of discipline hurting the team. Coach Alistair McBain will take action to curb this as they struggle to emulate last year’s winning formula.
Two plays three in Burnie as City Marians and Burnie Baptist do battle. Baptist will need to control the midfield to eliminate Craig McCarthy and Rhys Burgess, the top playmakers for the Bloods.
Smithton v South Launceston 2pm, Smithton; Tamar v Queechy 3pm, Launceston; Launceston City v West Devonport 1.30pm, Launceston; Devonport v South Burnie 12.30pm, Devonport; Burnie Baptist v City Marians 2pm, Burnie