Easts goalkeeper praised for repelling Norths strike force
GOALKEEPERS can face an attacking onslaught at the best of times.
But when it's against the Norths A-Grade men's strike force, repelling rocket-like shots is even more difficult.
That's why Easts goalkeeper Seth Bolton was widely praised after his latest performance at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
Although Easts lost 4-0, the scoreline could easily have been double that or in triple figures if not for Bolton's gritty display.
Bolton had a superb game, rejecting multiple Norths shots, especially from penalty corners masterminded by Queensland under-21 sharpshooter Zac Profke.
Profke managed to fire two past Bolton along with a double by Aidan Buckley.
However, in past games, Norths have regularly launched upwards or six or seven goals into the net.
"It's a bit intimidating, especially short corners is where they normally get you,'' Bolton said.
He said Profke's drag flicks were particularly dynamic.
"He's a very talented player so there's not much you can do basically. Just try your best,'' Bolton said.
After the match, Bolton appreciated being acknowledged by players and umpires as he packed up his goalkeeping kit.
"I was pretty happy with the way I played,'' he said, having been a goalkeeper since he started playing eight years ago.
"Especially with how many attempts they (Norths) had.''
Ipswich born and bred Bolton, 18, has been guarding the net in A-Grade the last two years.
While he clearly has higher level potential, the former St Peter Claver College student said his main priority at the moment "was just enjoying playing with his friends''.
He praised the Easts club for helping all the young players learn "a lot''.
"We're a young team with a few of the older men just teaching us the ways and we're hoping to build upon that culture of youth and expand upon that,'' he said.
"Hopefully we click a lot more and get better as a team.''
He welcomed the approach of new coach Chris Fazel to back yourself and "just go for it''.
Bolton said the toughest part of goalkeeping was being alert to every situation.
"The reaction time is a big one and just decision making,'' he said. "One wrong decision a second off and it goes in.''
Apart from Profke, Bolton said Hancocks goal scoring aces like Smith brothers Ryan and Nathan were also hard to stop.
But the most satisfying part in the last line of defence is "knowing that you are keeping the goals out just makes you feel good''.
In the other weekend A-Grade men's match, Hancocks beat Wests 4-0.
Ryan Smith added another hat-trick to his collection, with brother Nathan also scoring on his return from a year off hockey.
STATE OF PLAY
Men's and boys results April 9-11
A Grade: Hancock Brothers 4 (Ryan Smith 3, Nathan Smith) d Wests 0; Norths 4 (Zac Profke 2, Aidan Buckley 2) d Easts 0.
Reserve Grade: Easts 4 (T Woodford 3, S Bayliss) d Norths 1 (A Saric-Pamenter); Hancock Brothers 5 (N Smith 2, R Smith, E Styles-McKinnon, B French) d Wests 2 (C Pamenter, M Thomas).
R2 Grade: Bellbowrie 4 (A Backen 2, H Hocking, C Meloury) d Easts Gold 0; Wests 3 (L Alchin, C Ward, M Thomas) d Norths 2 (T Short, K Hey); Hancock Brothers 4 (J Burns 2, K Smith, R Sherlock) d Easts Black 0.
A2 Grade: Swifts 5 (C Meloury 3, Z Pascoe, J Murphy) d Easts 1 (J Barnes); Hancock Brothers 6 (B Kinnane 3, W Follett 2, K Tierney) d Northern Strikers 4 (A Woods 2, I Sagri 2).