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Dimboola teams in hockey fixture

By Simon King

Wimmera Hockey Association will launch a new season this weekend with two Dimboola teams marking their return at the first Friday evening matches in five years.

On Saturday, two big clashes between the reigning grand finalists in two divisions will feature.

This year also marks 50 years since the formation of Wimmera Hockey Association, which took over from the old Horsham Women’s Hockey Association in 1974 after that competition began in the early 1950s.

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Having been unable to field an under-16 team since 2019 or a women’s team since 2021, Dimboola will be represented in both competitions again this year.

The teams will open the season on Friday evening on their home turf against Warracknabeal.

The first of the feature games on Saturday is a replay of last year’s under-16 grand final at 11am when Yanac Warriors will be aiming to repeat their success from last season, but the young Kaniva Raiders impressed last year, and with them all a year older, they will be a team to watch this year.

An even bigger clash will see Yanac, the reigning premiers in the women’s competition, meet Kaniva, the team it defeated in last year’s grand final by just one goal after a penalty shootout.

As they were almost inseparable then, another close and entertaining match is expected.

The other two under-16 finalists from last season will meet in the early game on Saturday morning, while in the remaining women’s match, Horsham Jets, still smarting after dropping out of the top four after the final game last season, will be out to impress against Nhill Thunderbirds.

Horsham Hurricanes and Nhill Rangers will look to make a positive start in the open competition, from 4.30pm under lights on Saturday evening.

Both teams showed glimpses of good form last season but struggled to consistently play at their best. 

The last match for the round will feature Yanac Tigers, embarking on the quest for a record-extending ninth consecutive title, and it will be Kaniva Cobras who have the first opportunity to attempt to inflict the Tigers’ first defeat since 2019.

With Warrack Hoops having the bye this week, they will open their season in the rematch of the 2023 season-decider against the Tigers in round two the following weekend.

The entire April 24, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire April, 24, 2024 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!