Hancocks A-Grade hockey striker Kayley Armstrong warms up after playing in the heavy rain. Picture: David Lems
Hancocks A-Grade hockey striker Kayley Armstrong warms up after playing in the heavy rain. Picture: David Lems

Back with her best friend, Kayley plays vital role

AS a valuable Hancocks player, Kayley Armstrong often sneaks under the proverbial radar.

However, the striker continues to play a vital role for her Ipswich competition A-Grade side joining her sister and best friend Bree.

The latest match against Swifts was called off at three-quarter time on Sunday due to a heavy downpour creating puddles on the main Raceview turf field.

Hancocks were comfortably in control leading 4-0 but had to settle for a draw as the teams hadn't played the required 55 minutes to constitute a match.

That was the final result after some confusion over whether Hancocks had played enough to secure their first win of the new season.

For Armstrong, the third quarter was one of the most challenging games she had endured due to the water pooling on the surface.

"It was so tough going playing in the rain. It was pretty heavy,'' she said.

The Ipswich hockey main field where pools of water were forming after the heavy downpour. Picture: David Lems
The Ipswich hockey main field where pools of water were forming after the heavy downpour. Picture: David Lems

However, the Hancocks junior about to turn 19 is happy to be back in A-Grade, having returned last year.

"I left in my junior years and ventured out to Brisbane for a while,'' she said, being a dual registered Division 1 and 2 player with Valleys.

Former Queensland junior representative player Armstrong is enjoying her new team environment.

"It's great having such a strong core who have been together for so long,'' she said.

"I really enjoy it. I'm really glad to be back and with some girls I've known for a long time.''

That includes her older sister Bree who Kayley has played against at different times in the past for Wests.

"Bree is my best friend,'' Kayley said.

The Hancocks team also includes the McNamara sisters Kelly and Miranda (Kunde) and the Eleison siblings Layla and Abby.

Hancocks women's A-Grade players listen to captain/coach Sara Rogers in the rain-affected match on Sunday. Picture: David Lems
Hancocks women's A-Grade players listen to captain/coach Sara Rogers in the rain-affected match on Sunday. Picture: David Lems

Away from hockey, Armstrong is studying a Bachelor of Arts at UQ.

Hancocks captain/coach Sara Rogers said Armstrong often avoided attracting attention as she fulfilled her important team role.

"She is a bit like that as a person. She's very quiet,'' Rogers said.

"She's played probably the best game that I've seen her play for us so far so it's really good to see.

"She's playing a bit of Brisbane hockey too so she's getting a few games in a weekend.''

As for the match being called off early, Rogers said it was the right decision with no sign of the rain easing and the pools of water yet to drain away.

"It is definitely hard, especially for the first game of the season,'' she said.

Hancocks had a first-round bye.

"It was very heavy underfoot. I think we were the only association to play today,'' Rogers said.

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Hancocks had earlier established a 2-0 halftime lead after goals by Natalie Davison and a well-positioned Rogers.

The lead was extended when Davison scored her second penalty corner and speedster Robyn Clarke was rewarded for finding space on her own front. She waited for a clear pass, turned and struck in the goal.

The Reserve Grade match between Norths and Bellbowrie was also called off on the adjacent field after Jess Fox was injured.

In the other A-Grade women's match, Wests beat Easts 4-0.

STATE OF PLAY

Women's and girls results March 19-22

A Grade: Wests 4 (Eden Jackat, Sarah Pohlmann, Georgia Stenzel, Chloe Daley) d Easts 0; Hancock Brothers drew Swifts (match abandoned after third quarter due to weather).

Reserve Grade: Hancock Brothers 2 (C Harper, H Grieve) drew Swifts 2 (A Blore, L Doyle); Easts 3 (T Doyle 3) d Thistles 0; Norths drew Bellbowrie (match abandoned due to injury).

R2 Grade: Veterans 2 (S Ashton, K Pudwell) d Easts 0; Norths 4 (D Wenzel-Stephen 2, B Page, K Dale) d Hancock Brothers 0; Swifts 3 (E Stewart 2, T Floyd) d Bellbowrie 1 (D Ashton Norton).

A2 Grade: Wests 3 (S Lawrie 2, R Wilson) drew Veterans 3 (D Dannock 2, A Hill); Thistles 3 (L Steele 2, C Hannah) d Bellbowrie 0; Swifts 2 (T Andrews, L Manders) d Hancock Brothers 0

C Grade: Easts 1 (G Batten) d Thistles/Hancocks 0; Northern Strikers 6 (D Wenzel 4, N Hoppe, C McDowell) d Swifts 2 (S Baldwin, A Pascoe).

D Grade: Easts 6 (C Memory 2, DJ Hollis 2, T McPeake 2) d Norths 2 (R Jones, H Jones); Wests 8 (R Wilson 3, L Payne 2, S long, C Holzberger, P May) d Swifts 0.

E Grade: Easts 8 (E Denton 2, O Vermeer 2, J Hansen 2, L Smith, D Mole) d Swifts 0; Northern Strikers 9 (I Jeffrey 3, R Jones 2, J Biddle, K Parlett, A Hollis, K Buttery) d Hancock Brothers 1 (E Lane); Thistles 6 (E Jeanke 4, A Gotting, I Scantlebury) d Wests 1 (A Daley).