Finals alert: Hancocks stalwarts, teenagers making an impact
AFTER watching his team's committed effort across the field, Hancocks coach Mark Eleison was delighted to see dependable players like Natalie Davison rewarded with Queensland Country success.
He knows such representative trips will help her and Hancocks captain Sara Rogers fine-tune for the finals.
"Any time that you can get those sort of honours, it's good to go and represent your state,'' Eleison said.
"Queensland Country, I've done it myself and I know how she feels. From all accounts, she (Davison) held her own, played well, same as Sara going away, so it was really good.''
In Saturday night's hard-fought 3-2 A-Grade win over defending premiers Wests, Eleison was also pleased to see the younger brigade like goalkeeper Victoria Heffernan standing tall under intense pressure.
"That's the best game she's played all year for us,'' Eleison said of Heffernan. "She kept us in the game . . . proud of her.''
Another rising talent Caleisha Harper similarly had a superb match, making regular breaks up the flanks and scoring Hancocks' second goal.
Accomplished Hancocks' defender Kelly McNamara also displayed her trademark tenacity. Having raced back from a 2-2 draw playing for UQ against Easts in the Brisbane competition, McNamara went down in the third quarter after being struck in the knee.
However, after some icing and short break, she returned to complete the Raceview game with a shiny bruise to show for her commitment.
With close to his full strength side firing, Eleison hopes Hancocks can build on what they achieved in the finals. "The girls worked on it hard and getting the combinations together,'' he said.
After holding Wests scoreless in the first quarter, Eleison said the third period of play was Hancocks' best on Saturday night. That set up his team's confident final quarter.
A week after Hancocks and main rivals Norths contested a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Ipswich A-Grade men's competition, Saturday night's game signalled more exciting finals battles loom soon.
This weekend is the last round of regular senior fixtures with junior semi-finals starting on Saturday.