Tweed hockey stars leading the AHL charge
OLIVER Crane has made a flying start to his Australian Hockey League career scoring two goals on debut for the Queensland Blades.
Crane, who has been selected to play in Australia's pre-eminent domestic competition alongside fellow Tweed Border Hockey Association stars Madison Fitzpatrick and Blake and Dylan Wotherspoon, scored the Queensland Blades only goals in a 5-2 loss to the Canberra Lakers last Sunday.
The Blades, stocked up with the Tweed triumvirate of Crane and the Wotherspoon brothers, won their first game of the tournament against the NSW Waratahs 6-4, with Commonwealth Games gold medallist Dylan Wotherspoon out of Murwillumbah getting his name on the score sheet.
The Blades then made some personnel adjustments for their second game against the Canberra Lakers, giving Wotherspoon a rest and unleashing debutante Crane for his first taste of AHL action.
Although the Blades lost to the Lakers 5-2, Crane's two goals saved his side's blushes, setting up a potential scenario where both Crane and Wotherspoon are selected to play in the Blades' final group match against Tasmania tonight.
In the women's draw, Madison Fitzpatrick's Scorchers lost their first match to main group rival NSW Arrows 5-3 in Sydney, but bounced back swiftly in their second group game to defeat the Canberra Striker 5-1 in Canberra.
Fitzpatrick, the Hockeyroos defender hailing from Cabarita Beach, won the Australian Hockey League title with the Scorchers in 2016 along with her sister, and fellow Hockeyroo, Savannah.
Going into their third and final group match, the Blades and Scorchers both sit second in their respective pools and require wins to ensure progression to the national finals.
Fitzpatrick and the Scorchers take on the Tassie Tigers in their final group match at the Brisbane State Hockey Centre tonight at 6pm, while Crane and Wotherspoon's Scorchers take on Tasmania at 8pm at the same venue.