Mixed results keep contest wide open

JUMPING CLEAR: City Marians’ Eddie Gates takes evasive action as Tamar’s Rohan John clears the ball in their clash on Saturday. Picture: Stuart Wilson.

THE fight for third, fourth and fifth is still far from resolved with three games remaining in the Greater Northern League men’s hockey competition.

South Launceston suffered a loss to the South Burnie Hawks that leaves the Hawks trailing fourth-placed City Marians by a point.

City Marians scored a big win over Tamar Churinga to keep their hopes alive as they sit one point astern of Devonport, who also recorded a win over Smithton.

Burnie Baptist played a draw with Queechy in Launceston to maintain a five-point break over Devonport, leaving them seven points behind ladder leaders South Launceston.

Queechy would have to count themselves lucky when a Baptist defence mistake gave them an equalising goal as the ball bounced from the stick of Baptist’s Paul Badcock past the keeper in the first half.

The evenly matched game continued as the sides probed defences looking for the advantage until a Rick Webb penalty corner conversion gave Baptist the lead.

The Q’s responded within minutes from the stick of Alex Whitmore to again level the game.

Marty Bissett added another in the dying minute of the half to give Baptist a goal advantage.

Queechy looked the stronger in the second half, applying plenty of pressure to the tiring Baptist outfit with the leveller coming thirteen minutes into the half.

City Marians were too good for Tamar on home ground, slotting three goals in the first half and two in the second against a fill-in keeper after regular keeper Bill Shepherd was taken to hospital after being struck in the head by a knee.

Simon Vandenberg was the standout performer for the Bloods, mired deep in defence as he and keeper Josh Downey withstood the Tamar attack.

The Devonport Subbies slotted two in the first half to take the win over Smithton with Bruce Will and Mick Williams finding range this week.

The Subbies’ defence was under pressure from the relentless Saints attack but a best on ground performance from Daniel Ford in front of fill-in keeper Jacob Marshall allowed them to come home with the win.

South Burnie proved too strong for the younger South Launceston side at McKenna Park.

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