Hancocks set early standard
BEING the only unbeaten A-grade team this season, Hancock Brothers women have made a pleasing start in their quest to win another Ipswich competition grand final.
Their 3-0 victory before Easter ended the winning run of the new Swifts/Thistles combination.
However, Hancocks coach Brendan Eleison is keen to see his team overcome some disruptions in coming weeks to go one better than making last year's grand final.
"I'm very impressed with how the girls are going so far,'' he said of his team's positive performance leading into the Easter break.
Over the next fortnight, Hancocks will be without representative players Layla Eleison (Queensland under-18 championships) and Sara Rogers (Australian Country duty).
Eleison is also expecting to lose Jade Hooper (study commitments) and talented umpire Miranda McNamara (national under-15 titles) during the same period.
Eleison was delighted how his team contained Swifts/Thistles in their match before Easter.
"It was a good win,'' Eleison said.
"We basically attacked from the start and got the jump on them, and we were pretty solid for the rest of the game.
"Our girls were exceptional. We pretty well shut them down in every area.
"I couldn't fault the effort. We were pretty well in control most of the game.
"That's a good feeling, the coach knowing that the team has got that sort of control.
"It doesn't happen very often, especially in hockey these days. It's pretty fast-flowing.''
Eleison said the new Swifts/Thistles combination was different to the side Hancocks had met in previous grand finals.
"There's a lot of girls who haven't played together,'' he said.
"There was a little bit of evidence of that during the game.''
However, he expected them to become stronger.
"They showed glimpses of some really good play,'' he said.
"No doubt as they progress during the season, they'll get their combinations going and be a real threat.''
Eleison hopes the bye in the five-team women's competition will only remain for a month or so, until the annual Ipswich- Toowoomba intercity series starts.
But he accepts disruptions are necessary due to holidays and representative tournaments.
"It's out of our control some of these things,'' he said.
"You've got to keep promoting the game and Ipswich is got to keep getting championships.''
- The Ipswich competition resumes for senior players this weekend. No junior games are scheduled being school holidays.
- In the women's competition, Wests meet Bellbowrie tomorrow night before Hancocks tackle Norths in the Sunday afternoon clash.
- The A grade men's matches are between Easts and Wests on Saturday afternoon with Norths playing Hancocks in the same 5.30pm timeslot on Sunday.