Victoria claims bronze at Australian Country Women’s Hockey Championship

By Aydin Payne

The Australian Country Championships ended in Shepparton at the weekend with Queensland crowned the women's gold medal winner.

The week-long event — held at McEwen Reserve — came to close on Sunday, with Queensland defeating New South Wales 1-0 in the final.

Victoria missed out on the chance to play in the gold medal match with a disappointing result on the second last day of the championships.

Having finished the group stage in second position, the host state was defeated by NSW on Saturday 0-3.

However, Victoria rebounded from that loss in style against the Australian Defence Force in the bronze medal match.

Victoria — featuring Echuca-Moama's Jorjie Wright — was too strong for the ADF, claiming a 6-2 victory and the bronze medal.

It was a dominant showing from Victoria, despite beginning the match in dire circumstances.

Through Amanda Hoddinott, the ADF opened the scoring after 12 minutes from a penalty corner.

However, the host state bounced back with the next five goals — with Cecily Frost's first of two goals at the 53-minute mark securing the bronze medal.

The ADF scored a consolation goal three minutes later, but the damage was done once Frost rocketed her second past the goalie right before the final siren.

Victoria's Mindee Stone scored a brace along with Frost, while Victoria finished the game with five more circle entries and a greater possession percentage — highlighting its impressive win.

Although the bronze medal win capped a terrific week for Victoria, the championships belonged to Queensland. 

The gold medallist was miles ahead of the rest of the competition.

From seven games, the overall winner only conceded one goal and remained undefeated. 

In the gold medal match, for all of Queensland's dominance — seven shots to three — it only managed to clinch a gritty 1-0 victory.

It only took one swift strike from Queensland's Emily Hegney to clinch glory in the second term from a penalty corner.

For the tournament, Queensland's Katie Wollstein scored the most amount of goals with nine — three ahead of teammate Madeline Staff.