Benalla Hockey Club teams got their seasons underway on the weekend with mixed results.
In the under-13 game the Sixes played a strong first game against Strikers in Shepparton on Saturday.
With three of the team never having played hockey before, they held their own, with some great plays down the half-pitch field.
Strikers provided a sixth player for Benalla, Emily Turner, but their skill and two extra players on the bench overcame the Tigers to win 8-2.
Umpire best and fairest votes went to Zoe Grundy (3), Charlie Grimwade (GK) (2), and Eloise MacDonald (1).
In the under-15 match Benalla’s first under-15 team in more than six years took to the field against Mooroopna in Shepparton on Saturday.
With most graduating from the under-13 setup last year, Benalla adapted well to the full-field 11-side game.
Despite only fielding 10 players, they worked together with some great team plays, but ultimately fell to Mooroopna’s more experienced side — the final score was 5-1.
In the B-women’s grade Benalla encountered Euroa at home in Benalla for the first game of the season on Saturday, winning 3-1 in an evenly contested match.
Great plays by Livinya Dean and Georgie White, along with Zannie Randell sneaking the first goal meant Benalla had a solid game.
Euroa fought hard with only nine players, and as always will be a force to beat this season.
Umpire best and fairest votes went to Chrissy Purcell (3), Mel Gillies (2), and Rhonda Carpenter (1).
In the B-men’s grade Benalla narrowly lost to Euroa 2-1 at home in Benalla on Saturday.
Shaun Findlow on right wing, Will Grundy as full back and Travis Guerra as inner played their first games and played well.
Umpire best and fairest votes went to Cam Gillies (3), Marty Gillies (2), and Travis Guerra (1).
All teams play in Shepparton this Saturday, with the under-13 Sixers vs Mooroopna 2 at 10am, U15s vs Echuca at 11am, B-Women vs Echuca at 12.30pm and B-Men vs Echuca at 2pm.
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