CUP HOPEFULS: Sunraysia Hockey Association A Grade grand finalists Alex Kay (Waratahs), Jade Chapman (Koowinda), Mark Lohmeyer (Wanderers) and Simon Divola (Rivaside) with the David Elliott Memorial Trophy. Photo: PAUL MENSCH
SUNRAYSIA Hockey Association (SHA) teams will play for more than just premiership honours this weekend.
Both A Grade play-offs will see David versus Goliath battles. Koowinda have dominated the top women’s competition and the undefeated side will face Waratahs tomorrow. Wanderers are yet to lose in the men’s top flight and come up against Rivaside.
The A Grade men’s side will also vie for the honour of the David Elliott Memorial Trophy, named after a young gun Sunraysia hockey player who took his own life in 2007.
After the loss of their son, Veronica and Mark Elliott have sponsored the men’s trophy each year, which has carried David’s name for the past decade.
Hockey was David’s first sporting love and he was an incredible talent on the pitch.
David started as an eight-year-old at Under 12 level for Koowinda. He represented Sunraysia from 2000 to 2006 at senior and junior level, represented Irymple Secondary College in Northern Zone hockey in 2003 and 2004 and Mildura Senior College in 2005 and ’06. In the latter year, the school side finished third in the State with David as captain.
He was a three-time Under 17 premiership player for Koowinda and won back-to-back A Grade flags in 2006 and ’07.
Veronica and Mark will present the trophy to the winning A Grade men’s team post match.
SHA president Jane Green said it was important to remember the meaning behind the name that adorns the trophy. She also said ideas were in the works to create a regular exhibition match to raise funds for suicide prevention.
In the A Grade men’s game at 4.10pm tomorrow, Wanderers will be the team to beat, having won all 16 of their matches in 2018. They also have five of the top seven individual goal scorers for the year, including the top three – Jason Harris (43 goals), Michael Penna (31) and Albert Springuel (29).
Rivaside come into the grand final on the back of a 6-0 win over Koowinda in the semi. Liam Wood is their leading goal scorer with 19.
At 2.35pm, Koowinda will look to continue their dominant season. This is highlighted by them covering the top five individual scorers in the competition. Sue Wakefield sits on top with 26 goals, followed by Melanie Leach (20), Jade Chapman (18), Jessica Mattschoss (17) and Sarah Chapman (16).
Waratahs players fill the next three positions courtesy of Bridgit Wakefield (12 goals from just six games), Alex Kay (11) and Alex Caldecott (eight). In the semi-final, Waratahs claimed a 6-1 win over Wanderers to advance.