SHARP SKILLS: Wests' A-Grade talent Jemma Payne is one of the
SHARP SKILLS: Wests' A-Grade talent Jemma Payne is one of the "young brigade'' stepping up as the Magpies continue their unbeaten run this season. Cordell Richardson

Wests on target for title triple treat

HOCKEY: Two down, the big one to come.

But it wasn't only winning another A-Grade title that pleased Wests' coach Brent Nicholls.

It was beating a competitive rival without star goal scorer Amy Kickbusch and Grafton recrruit Sarah Donnelly.

While both unavailable players have made valuable contributions all season, it was Wests' exciting youth that got the job done in their latest 3-1 Mid-season final victory over Hancocks.

"I thought we played a good solid game,'' Nicholls said, reflecting on the Sunday night victory at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

"I'm very confident in the depth that we've got and the young brigade really stood up.''

Under-18 players like Jordn Office, Jemma Payne, Emma Picton and Monique Moran answered the challenge against a team expected to meet Wests in this year's Ipswich A-Grade grand final again.

Unbeaten Wests recently beat Toowoomba counterparts Rangeville 4-2 in the Combined Competition final, setting up Sunday night's double glory and another hat-trick bid on senior grand final day in September.

"All three (titles), we've been working for as a common goal and anything else along the way is a bonus,'' Nicholls said.

"Now we focus on what we've been doing . . . to play in the major semis and try to make a grand final and after that, try and win it.''

Combined competition hockey match played between Wests and Norths Toowoomba at Ipswich Hockey Complex on Sunday.  Wests Captain Eden Jackat.
Wests' co-captain Eden Jackat (left) scored a "ripper'' goal in the Mid-season final. Rob Williams

With leading goal scorer Kickbusch recovering from illness, Nicholls was pleased to see co-captain Eden Jackat return from holidays in sharp form.

Jackat completed her double, putting Wests 3-0 up, after what Nicholls described as a "ripper'' field goal.

"It was on a low angle in the top end of the roof. It was an absolute gem,'' Nicholls said.

Office scored Wests' first, another impressive field goal.

Hancocks' consolation goal was netted by Abby Eleison. Hancocks were without dual registered representative play- er Kelly McNamara.

"It was a competitive game across the park,'' Nicholls said.

"It was a pretty even game really.''

In the other women's A-Grade encounter, Swifts beat Norths 3-1.

In the men's A-Grade competition, defending premiers Hancocks continued their winning run, overcoming Wests 6-0.

Norths hit back after losing the Mid-season final to Hancocks with a 6-3 victory over Easts.

A-Grade women: Mid-season final - Wests 3 (Eden Jackat 2, Jordn Office) d Hancock Brothers 1 (Abby Eleison); Swifts 3 (Amanda Stacey 2, Elise Matherson) d Norths 1 (Erin Bartlam).

A-Grade men: Hancock Brothers 6 (Jackson Willie 2, Kai Douglas, Jay Pavitt, Carter Chappell, Blake Douglas) d Wests 0; Norths 6 (Zac Profke 4, Steven Ihle, Jake Thornton) d Easts 3 (Jacob Robertson 2, Kyle Sippel).