Mind games for Ipswich hockey finals
HANCOCK Brothers and Norths are in the box seat to win at least one title each with both clubs well represented in this weekend's Ipswich Hockey grand finals.
The main showdown is in tomorrow night's men's A-grade battle at Raceview.
Minor premiers Hancocks are anxious for another shot at Norths after the Devils beat them in extra-time shoot-outs a fortnight ago.
Hancocks player/coach Jake Burns was unconcerned by that loss, hinting his team was ready to make amends tomorrow night.
"It's business as usual,'' Burns said.
The Hancocks women are in a similar situation, having also lost their qualifying final to Wests, before earning a rematch this afternoon.
Like the men, the Hancocks women set the pace for most of the season.
However, Norths men and Wests women have shown they know how to peak at the right time of the season.
That sets up some mouth-watering matches at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
"The biggest thing is making sure you take your opportunities,'' Hancocks women's coach Brendan Eleison said.
"The games have been really close except for two weeks ago where they certainly outplayed us. But we were below par in all aspects of the game.''
The mind games have been underway all week with Wests co-coach Brent Nicholls saying his young team could enjoy the experience without added pressure.
"Because we've achieved so well through the season - winning the mid-season and also the combined final (in Toowoomba) - they are in a situation where they can't lose,'' Nicholls said.
Norths men's captain Mark Pocock is wary of Hancocks' quality across the field.
"They are a quick team,'' Pocock said.
"Hancocks have got such depth and that's why they got the minor premiership.
"They can take four guys off and put four guys on and not lose anything really.
"They've just got this strength in depth.''
The women's clash at 4.15pm and the men's final at 6pm follow lower grade hockey matches from 11am today.
The A2 grand finals are being played tonight at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.
Read about a special sister achievement for the grand final in tomorrow's QT.