Emergency trip to hospital fails to halt Hancocks' title bid
AN emergency dash to hospital provided some extra drama as the Hancocks men prepared for Saturday night's Ipswich A-Grade grand final.
Defender Blake Douglas needed surgery to remove his appendix after winning the latest Barry Dancer Excellence Award two nights earlier at the Ipswich Hockey awards.
While Douglas is "very unlikely'' to play, coach Sara Rogers has named him in the team for the 6.45pm duel with Norths.
After winning the minor premiership, mid-season final and Combined Competition final, the Hancocks' men are chasing their third consecutive Ipswich grand final title.
"You'd hate to go through a really successful season and not win the final trophy so that's the plan,'' Rogers said.
Fitness fanatic Rogers has the team well-drilled, challenging them with a different style of playing this year.
"They have really adapted to that well,'' the aspiring state coach said.
"Getting 15 boys at training every week - trying to train 8.30-9.30 - so it's really positive to see that culture starting to come through.''
However, she's mindful of what Norths can deliver, especially through dangerous short corner taker Zac Profke, who has blasted away all season.
"He's flicking very well so it's important that we don't give away any or many short corners,'' Rogers said of the Norths' teenager who has scored 42 goals in 18 games this season.
The Profke threat aside, Rogers said her team had built a close competitive bond in recent A-Grade seasons.
"A lot of those boys are Hancocks juniors as well so they have been playing together for many, many years,'' the club stalwart said.
Rogers coached the team to grand final glory last season.
With last weekend free from an A-Grade game, most of the players watched Norths beat Wests 5-0 in last Sunday night's preliminary final.