Ben Darby (left) and his father Stuart faced each other in a stroke shootout for the first time.
Ben Darby (left) and his father Stuart faced each other in a stroke shootout for the first time. David Lems

Daring son earns bragging rights against wily dad

IT was the first time Ipswich goalkeeping stalwart Stu Darby had to defend a stroke taken by his son.

It was also the first time the father and son had played against each other in A-Grade.

In a family showdown of experience and enthusiasm, it was the younger Darby who gained bragging rights after Ben drove the ball past his wily dad.

However, Stu didn't mind too much as he reflected on Easts' 4-1 loss to Hancocks at the Ipswich Hockey Complex on Saturday night.

"I went the opposite way. That was my blew,'' Stu said with a grin.

"Good on him. We've had a bit of banter at home all day.

"He reckons he was going to come up and have a shot. I said 'bring it on'.

"It's been good fun.''

Stu played with Ben at Hancocks a couple of seasons ago before returning to the Tigers.

He showed he still has plenty of skill and good flexes as he repelled five consecutive Hancocks' short corners in a row.

"I was just lucky mate,'' he said. "Lucky in the right spot.

"It was 1-1 at halftime. We thought we were in it there for a while but we ran out of legs at the end.

"They (Hancocks) are a good team. They're red hot.''

In his second match of the day having earlier played in Reserve Grade, the long-time Ipswich club and representative goalkeeper enjoyed the workout he received from the defending premiers.

That's because Stu is preparing to help Ipswich's number one over-40's team chase more medal glory at the Queensland Masters Championships at Raceview starting on Friday.

 

National title-winning Ipswich masters hockey trio (from left) Stu Darby, Wayne Follett and Brent Kinnane.Photo: Contributed
National title-winning Ipswich masters hockey trio (from left) Stu Darby, Wayne Follett and Brent Kinnane will be playing again this weekend at Raceview. Contributed

Darby is excited to be in the team which includes teammates Lindsay Marsh, Paul Malcolm, Damien Goodwin, Tony Ross and Steve Rogers, if he recovers from a broken nose suffered over the week-end.

"We've got a really strong side and we should do well,'' Darby said, encouraged by Ipswich's improved striking prowess.

"I've been playing with Marshy since under 11's.

"The core of that team, we've been playing together now for 10 years.''

Ipswich will also be represented this weekend by a second over-40's side and an over-50 team that is rich in hockey know-how.

Queensland Masters Championship games begin on Friday night, with finals on Monday.

As for his latest A-Grade encounter, Darby said it was pleasing to see the Easts' juniors moving into higher level play and improving.

"This is the second round now. The first time, they beat us 12-0,'' Darby said.

"They (Hancocks) are a much quicker team than us at the moment but we'll see what happens by the end of the year.

"We'll keep working with them. By the end of the season they'll be scoring goals for us.''