STAYING GROUNDED: Wests' goal-scoring ace Amy Kickbusch gets tangled up with a Norths Toowoomba player during Sunday's 13-1 win at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
STAYING GROUNDED: Wests' goal-scoring ace Amy Kickbusch gets tangled up with a Norths Toowoomba player during Sunday's 13-1 win at the Ipswich Hockey Complex. Rob Williams

13-1: Why Wests juggernaut keeps rolling on

HOCKEY: After outclassing an A-Grade opponent 13-1, it could be tempting to think winning is easy.

However, with the experience and emerging talent in Wests' top women's side, that's unlikely to happen.

Defending Ipswich competition premiers Wests gave Norths Toowoomba a hockey lesson in their latest Combined Competition match at Raceview on Sunday.

Former international striker Amy Kickbusch led the way again with six goals, well supported by captain Eden Jackat and Jess Wilkinson with two each.

While happy to see his team preserve its unbeaten record, coach Brent Nicholls said his players would remain grounded completing the annual intercity series before refocusing on the last two Ipswich competition rounds.

"Because it's not the first year that the girls have been going well, it's easy to stay focused on the bigger picture (making finals),'' Nicholls said.

"This is part of the season we work through and we know where we are heading and what we want to achieve at the end of the year.''

Wests' only major scare was a few weeks ago when they had to fight back from 4-1 down against Toowoomba Past High to win 6-4.

That showed how Wests can respond when under pressure.

 

 

Combined competition hockey match played between Wests and Norths Toowoomba at Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.  Wests coach Brent Nicholls.
Wests coach Brent Nicholls. Rob Williams

As for any risk of complacency, Nicholls said he hadn't seen a need to address it.

"It's just the attitude,'' he said.

"Everyone is enjoying themselves. It's a tight group of girls.''

One of Ipswich's most successful coaches said having senior players like Kickbusch and Amy Nicholls in the side had a flow-on effect to the younger brigade coming through.

"We have got some really experienced players there that really keep everyone's feet on the ground,'' Nicholls said.

"They stay focused and I think they are still ultra competitive.''

 

Combined competition hockey match played between Wests and Norths Toowoomba at Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.  Wests Captain Eden Jackat.
Wests captain Eden Jackat celebrates a goal on Sunday. Rob Williams

Knowing last year's grand final runners-up Hancocks are also progressing well is another motivation for the Magpies to maintain their winning form.

"They (Hancocks) will be very tough,'' Nicholls said.

"They have got five Super League players in the team and a Scorchers player (Layla Eleison).

"They have a very good experienced team and good people.

"They are very capable at any stage.''

Hancocks beat Swifts 5-1 in their latest encounter.

As his team rolls on, Nicholls continues to introduce more junior players to his A-Grade squad and back his dependable Reserve Graders who step up when needed from the Wests Black and Wests White teams.

"Probably what's pleased me most out of all it is we've used so many players,'' Nicholls said, having worked with at least 25 this season.

"The depth is there. We've got good kids coming through.

"We've been able to give a lot of players a lot of field time and that only helps for the future.''

In the latest round of Combined Competition men's matches, Hancocks beat Easts 6-3, Wests held out Norths Toowoomba 4-3 and Norths Ipswich were too strong for Rangeville, getting up 5-4.

Queensland representative Zac Profke added another four goals to his growing A-Grade tally.

A Grade men: Hancock Brothers def Easts 6-3, Wests def Norths Toowoomba 4-3, Norths Ipswich def Rangeville 5-4.

A Grade women: Wests def Norths Toowoomba 13-1, Hancocks def Swifts 5-1, Rangeville def Norths Ipswich on forfeit.