Guys and girls doing it for Tweed
THEY play for different clubs, but the Waratah Bobcats men and United Vipers women both want the same thing today - to win the JH Williams Premier Hockey League trophies for the Tweed-Border association.
United Vipers face top Gold Coast club Labrador at 2.30pm, while at 4pm Bobcats go head-to-head with Far North Coast club Ballina.
The finals, at Barrie Smith Hockey Field in Murwillumbah, are the culmination of the second annual combined hockey league between teams from the Lismore-based Far North Coast, Gold Coast and Tweed-Border.
"We (Bobcats and Vipers) are one at the moment," Bobcats goalkeeper Mitch Paron said.
"Both teams really want to win for the association. We will be supporting them and they will support us."
He said they wanted to show the other associations, who came from bigger population bases, just what Tweed-Border was made of.
Bobcats and Ballina have been hard to split. In fact the two teams finished on the same points and goal difference on the top of the ladder.
The local team will be boosted by the return of its top goalscorer Dwayne Newell.
"We are pretty evenly matched," Paron said.
Bobcats have a number of stars, including Dwayne and Mick Newell up front, Tim Willis and Australian Country representative Matt Butturini in the midfield and Troy O'Keefe and Mitch Paron at the back.
Paron believes they will have to watch Ballina's key midfielders Scott Bovis and Grant Smith. Ballina also has a strong backline.
Meanwhile, for the women, tiredness might be the Vipers' biggest challenge. The side played its final Tweed-Border match just last night.
However they have trained well this week, according to coach Carl Johnston, and have been boosted by news that Labrador's Nikki Hudson will be out on national duties.
Forward Michaela Smith and midfielders Kellie Roatz and Isabel Power have been inspirational for Vipers this season.