Check out why Nat's enjoying a double dose of elation
FRESH from sharing in a national championship success with Queensland, Natalie Davison could only hope to enjoy another memorable victory so soon.
Within the space of a week, she did.
The loyal Hancock Brothers hockey player was elated after her A-Grade team inflicted the first defeat this season on defending premiers Wests.
Hancocks' 3-2 victory at the Ipswich Hockey Complex came just days after Davison helped the unbeaten Queensland Country side beat NSW 1-0 in the final to claim the national title in Shepparton.
However, upstaging the high-flying Magpies so close to the Ipswich competition finals gave Davison and her Hancocks' teammates a timely boost.
"It's definitely a positive,'' she said, clearly excited that Hancocks could match the defending premiers.
"It's always good after coming back from a bit of tougher hockey and you're feeling pretty good and your stick levels are just a bit better.
"I think we really connected well tonight.
"We've be ramming it up towards the end of the season and always trying to improve every game. To have that (win over Wests) I think is a really good start to our finals.''
In Shepparton, Davison enjoyed the opportunity to gain more experience and reinvigorate her hockey representing Queensland Country for the first time.
"We had a good time,'' she said.
"We went undefeated, which is always a plus.
"It was a bit different . . . getting a bit of a different layout.
"Their turf was slightly different down there but overall I think we had a fun tournament.
"After going away with Country, you always just get that love for it back.
"It's not just a sport. We love each other and we always have fun, and I think it shows out on the field how close we are.''
Playing in the halfline, she was joined in the Queensland Country team by Hancocks captain Sara Rogers and skilful Wests player Jess Wilkinson.
"It was definitely a bit of a tougher competition than you get here in Ipswich but it's always good to play a bit of a higher level hockey now and then,'' she said.
Davison, 23, has been with Hancocks since she was six, sharing in two premierships and a number of runner-up efforts.
She hopes a long association with the team's experienced players and the efforts of teenage talents like goalkeeper Victoria Heffernan and Caleisha Harper provide the quality her team needs to challenge for another premiership.
"She (Heffernan) is starting to really ram up,'' Davison said.
"We've got a few young girls coming through at the front line. It takes a while to come through like Caleisha.''
However, Davison said the young guns were learning fast and progressing in the right direction this year.
"I think everyone is starting to step up at the right time,'' she said.
After a scoreless first quarter on Saturday night, Wests sharpshooter Amy Kickbusch put Wests up 1-0 after one of her trademark zigzagging runs around the Hancocks' defence before slamming in her goal.
Hancocks showed they are ready to challenge Wests in the fast-approaching final series by equalising in the third quarter.
Queensland player Layla Eleison fired a shot into the strike zone that Robyn Clarke neatly deflected in.
Hancocks took the lead in the first quarter through Harper's timely goal before Kickbusch levelled the game with six minutes to go.
Eleison was on the spot to put her team ahead again in the final minutes before the game finished early after Kickbusch went down injured and time ran out.